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Dramatic scenery, gentle humour, abstracts – oh, and a nude cover-up

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: March 16, 2013

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Barnes Thomas county auctioneers, Penzance

With 300 lots, ranging from the classical to the contemporary, Barnes Thomas' spring sale of fine paintings is a feast of quality art.

There are works by artists such as Stanhope Forbes, John Miller and Ralph Todd. And the list goes on – embracing art by such intriguing talents as Gill Watkiss, Linda Weir and Fred Yates.

There is, however, something to suit all pockets with works carrying guides that range from £30 to £30,000.

One amusing talking point among the lots is a 16th/17th century work by an unknown artist entitled Reclining Nude.

The lady, depicted reading a book, is however far from nude – being partly covered by a black cloak.

Auctioneer Barnes Thomas says it is believed the body was "covered over" because an owner of the painting did not like nudes.

"A good restorer could get that off and put the painting back to its original condition," says Barnes.

The painting is 12x16in, and is an oil on canvas set in a fine hand-carved frame. It has a guide of £300-£600.

The Fisherman's Hut, Priests Cove, Cape Cornwall, a 27x29in medium oil on board, and signed by the artist Joan Gillchrest (1918-2008) has a guide of £4,500-£5,500.

Solomon's Seal, a 7x5in watercolour by Mary Fedden (1915-2012), is signed and dated 1985 and has an estimate of £2,000-£3,000.

The Roger Hilton work, Untitled 73, is gouache on paper and signed. It is 13x22in and has a guide of £4,000-£5,000.

Self Portrait by Jason Walker (20th century) is a 9½x7½in oil on board. Signed by the artist, it has an estimate of £600-£800. It is our front page picture today.

Berry Pickers is classic Gill Watkiss – with its strong sense of Cornish atmosphere and gently understated humour.

This 12x12in oil on board is signed and comes with a guide of £1,500-£2,000.

The Guitar Player was painted by Henry Meynell Rheam (1859-1920) who was one of the earlier artists to settle in Newlyn – although this Pre-Raphelite style composition was probably created by him post-Newlyn. A 20x15in watercolour, signed and dated 1904, it has an estimate of £1,500-£2,000.

The sale is Monday, March 25, with viewing Thursday to Sunday, 10am to 4pm; and on the morning of the sale between 10am and the sale at 1pm.

Barnes Thomas County Auctioneers is at 14 Chapel Street, Penzance. Call: 01736 368203.

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