Rare Victorian painting to be auctioned
PUBLISHED: 11:44 16 June 2011 | UPDATED: 19:33 20 February 2013
A beautiful painting by the Victorian watercolourist Helen Allingham entitled Buckinghamshire house at Penstreet is expected to sell for up to £15,000 in Bonhams 19th Century Pictures auction on July 13.
The idyllic rural scene shows a wisteria covered cottage with washing drying on the hedge, a woman and child at the gate and chickens pecking in the foreground. It is one of the 55 watercolours by Allingham acquired by Sir Owen Aisher between 1947 and 1970. For many years, part of this building at Penstreet was occupied by George and Catherine Randall and their daughter Annie. George was a blacksmith and it was there he had his forge. In the early years of the 20th century the house caught fire causing considerable damage, but it was rebuilt and still stands today. Allingham is more recognised for her paintings of Sussex cottages and buildings. Her Buckinghamshire subjects are rarer and it is thought that she completed no more than half a dozen, dating from around 1900. Allingham also provided the illustrations for Thomas Hardys Far From the Madding Crowd as well as other books.