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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 March 2007, 15:31 GMT
Art slashed by suffragette sold

A painting of a Cornish scene which was believed to have been slashed by a suffragette in 1894 is expected to fetch up to 70,000 at auction.

The Quarry Team, depicting a scene on the road from Penzance to Land's End by Stanhope Alexander Forbes, is being sold at auction in London.

The damage was repaired but the mark of the slash is still faintly visible.

It was bought for 175 by the Polglase family in the 1940s, who eventually left it to their gardener.

Umbrella attack

The painting, which measures 60in x 96in (152cm x 244cm), is believed to have been attacked by a suffragette with an umbrella while it was on show at the Royal Academy exhibition in 1894.

A Bonhams spokesperson said: "Whilst The Quarry Team is inoffensive in terms of subject matter, its large scale and importance - for Forbes was one of the foremost painters of his day and the painting has since been hailed as 'one of his greatest and most renowned works' - singled it out for women wanting to make a point. "

It will go under the hammer at Bonhams' sale of Victorian paintings on 20 March.

Forbes was a leading member of the Newlyn School of Painting and died in Newlyn in 1947.

The Polglase family lived at Treneere Manor on the outskirts of Penzance and when Joseph Polglase died the estate was left to his four daughters.

On the death of the last surviving daughter in 1956, the house, contents and gardens were left to estate gardener Reginald Symons who devoted the rest of his life to their care.

Mr Symons died in 2006 aged 95.

He left the house and its contents to St Dunstan's, a charity providing assistance to ex-servicemen and women and the painting is being sold on their behalf.


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