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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Top price paid for painting by Cumbrian artist Sheila Fell

A new world auction record has been set for a work by Cumbrian artist Sheila Fell after a painting of hers sold for £38,000.

Sheila Fell painting
Houses in Winter, Cumberland by Sheila Fell

Mitchells of Cockermouth said the sale, which saw Houses in Winter, Cumberland, go to a local collector, was its best antiques and fine art sale for 10 years.

There was a tense bidding war between four telephone bidders and others in the saleroom on Friday.

Mitchells described the piece as “the finest work by Sheila Fell that we have ever been asked to sell”.

The price exceeds by £6,500 the previous record set by Mitchells last year.

Mitchells auctioneer Mark Wise said: “The price justifies the billing we gave it as the best Fell we’ve ever been asked to sell.

“It is a particularly fine painting with substantial appeal for collectors and hadn’t been exposed to the market since it was first bought from the 1970 Royal Academy Exhibition.”

Sheila Fell, 1931-1979, a miner’s daughter from Aspatria, was famously regarded by L.S. Lowry as the best landscape painter of her generation.

Other paintings by Fell in the same sale included Brayton Road, Aspatria 1969, sold to a bidder in the saleroom for £12,000 and Potato Heaps, a small unsigned painting from 1962 which surprised the audience by selling for £10,200, considerably more than the top auction estimate of £3,500.

Artworks by other local artists also fetched good prices such as Vale of Lorton, Winter by Len Roope (1917-2005) which sold for £800 and a lithograph by Percy Kelly (1916–1983) which sold for £540.

Mitchells is now inviting entries for its next antiques and fine art sale to be held on June 16 and 17.

Contact Mr Wise on 01900 827800.

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