At Bonhams 19th Century Paintings Sale

The Watchers by Sir William Blake Richmond makes more than three times its estimate

19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art
26 Sep 2018
London, New Bond Street

Dolce far Niente, a masterpiece by the reclusive and tragic Victorian Neo-classicist painter John William Godward, was sold for £248,750 at Bonhams 19th century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art in London today (Wednesday 26 September). It had been estimated at £200,000-300,000. The sale made more than £2,000,000.

Godward (1861-1922) often depicted young women striking studied poses against meticulously rendered classical landscapes, very much in the style of Lawrence Alma-Tadema, under whom he studied. Rejected by his family who disapproved of his life as an artist, he spent much of his career in Italy, returning to England in 1921, a year before he committed suicide at the age of 61.

Other sale highlights included:

- Little Fatima, by Frederic, Lord Leighton (British, 1830-1896). Estimated at £100,000-150,000, it sold for £125,000

- At the Lakeside, Moonlight by John Atkinson Grimshaw which sold for £87,5000 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000.

- At the Window, by Eugen Von Blass (Austrian, 1843-1931). It sold for £75,000, having been estimated at £60,000-80,000.

- The Watchers by Sir William Blake Richmond (1842-1921). Estimated at £15,000-20,000, it sold for £75,000.

Bonhams Director of 19th Century Art, Charles O'Brien said, "We were delighted with the result, particularly with what we achieved for the paintings by Lord Leighton and John William Godward. It just goes to show that there is strength and depth in the market for these masters. I wasn't surprised that the star of the show, William Blake Richmond's The Watchers made three times more than its top estimate. When there's something special, the sky is the limit."


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit bonhams.com.

  1. Charles O'Brien
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8360
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