Drawings by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones – newly discovered at West Horsley Place the Surrey estate of Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe – doubled the pre-sale estimate to sell for £68,750 at Sotheby’s on May 27. Session one of the estate of the Duchess realised £2,480,554 – over the high estimate for both sale sessions. The sale continues today. The studies were for Burne-Jones most famous and powerful painting, The Wheel of Fortune. This was painted for the Conservative politician and future Prime Minister Arthur Balfour and modelled by actress Lillie Langtry (1853-1929), regarded by many as the most beautiful woman in London.
A portrait of Mary’s mother, Peggy Primrose, by Glyn Philpot made £56,250. Irish artists in the sale included Percy French, Walter Osborne, Rose Barton and Mildred Anne Butler. Osborne’s Fish Market, Galway sold for £25,000.
UPDATE: The two day realised £3,701,654. It had been estimated at £1.6–2.3 million. The top lot of on the second day was the Duchess’ Cartier diamond engagement ring, which sold for £167,000, 14 times its high estimate (estimate £8,000-12,000). A collection of Mary’s jewellery was sold earlier this month at Sotheby’s in Geneva making an overall total of £8,861939.