‘Delight’ as painting goes under the hammer in Washington for £85k

Sedlacek painting goes for �85k at Tooveys Auctioneers Washington SUS-150622-143802001
Sedlacek painting goes for �85k at Tooveys Auctioneers Washington SUS-150622-143802001

A painting that was collecting dust on the floor has fetched an incredible £85,000 at a Washington-based auctioneers.

One of Austria’s most prominent artists during the interwar years, Franz Sedlacek’s work went under the hammer for £85,000 at Toovey’s Fine Art and Antique Auctioneers onJune 17.

It was Toovey’s director Rupert Toovey who discovered the painting on a routine house visit near Petworth.

He said: “I am delighted for our client. This is an excellent result.

“Amongst the lovely 18th century walnut furniture and collectors’ items was a stack of dusty pictures on the floor. As I looked through them, the vendor was surprised when I drew his attention to the wonderful oil by Sedlacek.”

The oil painting is titled ‘Blüten und Insekten Nr. 3’, and was one of a series of works in which Sedlacek explored the theme of fantastical flowers and insects.

It was dated 1935 and a label to the reverse indicated that it was shown at the Vienna Secession’s autumn exhibition of the same year.

Mr Toovey said: “A dreamlike and sometimes nightmarish quality prevails in his paintings – strange figures and creatures inhabit unsettling interiors and exteriors.

“I suggested that the painting, which I understand had been in the family for several generations, could realise in the region of £50,000 to £80,000 at auction.

“I am so pleased that it exceeded my expectations.”

Toovey’s have been no strangers to five and six-figure sums over the past year.

They achieved the UK’s top price for a picture auctioned outside London in 2014 with an 18th century French charcoal and chalk drawing for £320,000.

The auctioneers’ next select pictures sale is on September 9.

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