King of Prussia painting sells for £30,000

The Westmorland Gazette: The King of Prussia painting The King of Prussia painting

An 18th century portrait of 'Frederick The Great' King of Prussia stunned onlookers at Mitchells by selling for £30,000, greatly exceeding its estimate.

With ten people bidding for the lot by telephone, auctioneer Mark Wise started selling the painting with bidding increments of £200 but a bidding war soon developed between two buyers and the increments increased, each outbidding the other with larger and larger bids, upping the price by as much as £5,000 in one go.

The painting finally sold to a German buyer for £30,000 and the underbidder consoled himself with having already bought another painting of 'Field Marshall The Honourable James Francis Edward Keith' for £6,000.

Both paintings belonged to a private vendor, formerly of Lorton Hall, who had since moved out of the area.

Another valuable lot sold on behalf of a local vendor was a watercolour and gouache painting of an Italianate landscape by John Brett (1831-1902) which sold for £10,000, again considerably above estimate.

The painting was bought by a private collector who was also bidding by telephone.

Items from historic Haile Hall near Egremont, the former home of Lady Mary Ponsonby, were also included in the sale.

A 19th century partners’ desk which was the former centrepiece of the library sold for £3,800 and a large 16th century hunting tapestry with a fascinating provenance fetched £2,900.

Other notable lots in the sale were an 18 ct diamond ring sold for £9,200 and an 18 ct gold diamond set bracelet sold for £7,500.

A pair of rare Medieval sandstone urns featured on the front of Mitchells catalogue sold for £2,600 and a Victorian specimen wood centre table, which won first prize at 'The North London Industrial Exhibition 1864', reached its top estimate of £3,000.

A fully illustrated catalogue with all the prices realised in the sale can be viewed online at

The auction company are now accepting entries for their next Antiques & Fine Art Sale to be held on Thursday March 20 and Friday, March 21 2014 with a closing date for entries of Friday, February 21.


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