Donated to a local charity shop!
Senior Valuer Greg Bateman was stunned to see a wonderful early 20th century English Impressionist nude figural study emerge from the shopping bag in which it arrived at Batemans' Stamford Office with one of the volunteers from the charity shop.
Such an incredible story deserves an incredible ending, and this doesn't disappoint!
Manner of Henry Scott Tuke RA RWS (British, 1858-1929): nude study of a young man, circa 1915, crouched down looking off to the left, with his arms resting on his thighs, the model is probably Charlie Mitchell, Tuke's boat handler, unsigned, oil on panel, 39.0 by 30.0cm, in a contemporary gilt gesso frame, 53.8 by 45.4cm, with gallery label to the back 'Rowley, 140-2 Kensington W8'.
Sold on 2nd December £20,000 hammer (£24,800 including 24% BP)
It sold to a UK collector who will be trying to pin down a firm attribution but is nonetheless extremely pleased to have fought off stiff competition to 'win' it.
This painting was the most watched lot across all platforms in this sale, with nearly fifty 'watchers' on the-saleroom.com, it opened bidding at £520, and with eight different bidders, including one phone line, it took 88 bids and about 6 minutes to reach it's wonderful total!
It is the most expensive painting Batemans has ever sold (the previous being £12,000 for a large Trajan Hughes oil), and is also the third most expensive lot we've ever sold.
The Tate Gallery provides the following useful summary of this famous Cornish artist:
Henry Scott Tuke (12 June 1858 – 13 March 1929), was an English artist; primarily a painter, but also a photographer. His most notable work was in the Impressionist style, and he is best known for his paintings of nude boys and young men.
Trained at the Slade School of Art under Alphonse Legros and Sir Edward Poynter, Tuke developed a close relationship with the Newlyn School of painters, his work being exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts, of which he became a Full Member. In addition to his achievements as a figurative painter, he was an established maritime artist and produced many portraits of sailing ships. He was highly prolific, with over 1,300 works listed and more being discovered.