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Haddiscoe painting up for auction

PUBLISHED: 10:25 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 15:50 03 July 2010

A patriotic crowd turned out as usual for the latest annual East Anglian View sale - but, save for the star performer, Norfolk pictures were eclipsed by Suffolk images.

A patriotic crowd turned out as usual for the latest annual East Anglian View sale - but, save for the star performer, Norfolk pictures were eclipsed by Suffolk images.

On the eve of the centenary of his birth, Norwich-born and Ludham-based Edward Seago for once failed to claim the highest bid in the Bury St Edmunds art and antiques auction.

Top price went to Sir John Alfred Arnesby Brown's classic cattle-rife oil of The Cut at Haddiscoe, which doubled Bonhams' lower pre-sale estimate to fetch £20,400.

Next was Prunella Clough's 1956 oil River Landscape at almost £13,000. Painted when the artist was turning from Southwold-inspired scenes to more industrial imagery, the picture had been owned by Aldeburgh-based modernist architect Jim Cadbury-Brown who died earlier this year.

From the same collection, a 1947 Bryan Wynter oil of Cornish cottages more than doubled its upper estimate to reach almost £8,000.

A lovely impressionistic Seago oil, September morning on the Orwell, did make £12,250 but two other major paintings estimated at up to £25,000 went unsold. A Happisburgh watercolour made £6,000 but several others were unclaimed.

The most dramatic story of the sale was an apparent collapse in the market for the 19th century Norwich School. The best works went untaken, with the biggest price achieved being £3,000 as a fine pair of Alfred Stannard oils, depicting the Bishop's Bridge in Norwich and the Yare at Thorpe St Andrew, limped towards the lower estimate.

Pictures from the Victorian Suffolk School fared better, with Thomas Smythe's Travellers Beside a Country Inn soaring above £5,150 and Terriers Rabbiting, by the same hand, topping £4,300.

Arnesby Brown saved the day for Norfolk as a bravura pair of oil sketches, of the kind he painted on the lids of cigar boxes, again surged above estimate to top £11,000.

Otherwise the best Norfolk price, of £5,140, was matched by an Alfred Munnings drawing and a naïve, pre-1914 pub sign showing a steam train and thought to have been painted for the Railway Tavern in Holt.

Top lot among the antiques was an eight-piece Lowestoft porcelain tea service of around 1780. It made £4,800.

Many buyers left happy to have snapped up locally-linked bargains, but the late Mary Newcomb would have been astonished by the bidding battle over her small and slight sketch of Rams Leaping. Estimated at £1,500-£2,000, it leapt to £3,360.

The Waveney Valley farmer's wife, who had a hugely-popular memorial show at Norwich Castle in the spring, used to sell brilliant oils with the Norwich Twenty Group at £20 a time.

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