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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 20:41 GMT
Constable sketch fetches record price
Constable sketch
One of the three works which fetched more than 350,000
A long-lost sketch by Suffolk artist John Constable has been sold at auction for a record price.

The drawing fetched 216,160 including buyer's premium - almost 100,000 more than the previous record for work on paper.

It was one of three works depicting Lord Nelson's flagship The Victory in 1803 that were discovered recently during a routine valuation in Scotland.

They had been expected to fetch 40,000, but were bought by a single private buyer for a total of 352,160 at a Sotheby's auction in London on Wednesday.

Flower of fleet

A spokeswoman for Sotheby's said: "This is a fabulous and unexpected result.

"Constable's works are very popular.

"But these prices for works on paper are very exciting."

The existence of the pictures has always been known, but their whereabouts had been a mystery.

They were discovered in the possession of a family who are descendants of Constable, but had no idea of the pictures' worth.

Constable drew the ship while it was in the Medway in Kent two years before its role in the Battle of Trafalgar.

He described the ship in a letter to a friend as "the flower of the fleet" and later used the sketches for his watercolour His Majesty's Ship 'Victory'... in the Memorable Battle of the Trafalgar.

Constable was born in East Bergholt, Suffolk, and became famous for his local landscapes.

Constable portrait goes on show
25 Feb 03 |  England
Early Constable painting found
03 Apr 02 |  Entertainment

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