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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 September 2007, 16:18 GMT 17:18 UK
Early Constables go under hammer
Constable's A Rider and Companion Crossing a Bridge
John Constable only sold 20 paintings during his lifetime
Three early watercolours by John Constable have been auctioned after being put up for sale by a direct descendant of the landscape painter.

The three date from when the artist was in his 20s and torn between taking on the family business or a career in painting - they made 40,000 in total.

The sale was made anonymously by a direct descendant of Constable, Bonhams auctioneers, who sold the works, said.

Constable, most noted for The Hay Wain, sold only 20 paintings during his life.

His famous landscapes stemmed from his life in the countryside on the Suffolk-Essex border, often referred to as Constable Country.

The first watercolour under the hammer, A Rider And Companion Crossing A Bridge, fetched 18,600 in the central London auction.

The others - A Mountainous Landscape and A River In A Hilly Valley - sold for 10,800 and 10,200, both to the same buyer.

The watercolours were inherited by the Rev Daniel Constable Whalley, from his Aunt Mary Constable, the artist's younger sister, and passed through the family.

Early Constables put up for sale
12 Sep 07 |  England
Constable's landscapes go on view
30 May 06 |  In Pictures
Constable painting fails to sell
24 Nov 05 |  Suffolk

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