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Portraits of Plymouth's maritime history to go up for sale at auction

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 08, 2012

  • Up for grabs from the WMN collection are (clockwise from top left) Wreck Of The Dutton by Nicholas Pocock, Plymouth Fish Market by Nicholas Matthew Condy, The Spanish Menace by Frank Moss Bennett and The Mayflower by Bernard Finegan Gribble

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Oil paintings that hung in the offices of the Western Morning News for more than a century are to be sold at auction next week, writes Simon Parker.

The works, some of which date from the 16th century, mainly relate to Plymouth's naval history and traditions.

Readers who visited the WMN's former headquarters at New George Street in Plymouth will be familiar with a number of the canvasses that hung in the building's foyer.

Chorley's auction house in Gloucester said the collection, which is to be sold next Thursday, has already attracted considerable interest from specialists.

Among the lots is Plymouth Fish Market, painted by the 19th century artist Nicholas Matthew Condy. Born in the city's Union Street in 1816, Condy went on to became a professional marine painter and twice exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Also featured is a painting by Bristol-born Nicholas Pocock of the East Indiaman Dutton being driven aground in Plymouth Sound in 1796. Best known for his scenes of naval battles, Pocock was not only a maritime artist but master of a merchant ship. His painting is expected to fetch between £5,000 and £8,000.

Among the other works going under the hammer is The Spanish Menace by Frank Moss Bennett, which has an upper estimate of £15,000, and Bernard Finegan Gribble's oil The Mayflower.

Speaking on behalf of the auctioneers, Iona Sale said: "This is an extremely interesting collection and is sure to attract attention from anybody with an interest in Plymouth, Devon and the Westcountry, as well as collectors of marine art."

For a catalogue, visit www.simonchorley.com or call 01452-344499.

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