The early work by an internationally-regarded artist topped the lots at a recent sale.

Artworks by the Aspatria-born artist, Sheila Fell RA (1931-1979) and a major private collection by Percy Kelly (1918-1993) were among the top selling lots at Mitchells Antiques & Fine Art Sale in Cockermouth last week.

Several early works by Fell were auctioned, the most significant being a pencil drawing with the artist's handwritten inscription ‘With thanks for lending me your fields so often’ which sold for £3,300, making it the highest selling lot in the sale.


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A considerable collection of Kelly's artworks from a deceased nearby estate was one of the largest to be sold at the saleroom.

The most valuable artwork of his was a watercolour and mixed media painting titled ‘Bridge Near Wasdale’ which went for £2,300, considerably above its top estimate.

Another Kelly watercolour, ‘Trawler CA56’, signed and dated 1991 reached £2,000.

Other works by artists from the area, such as an unpublished original pen and ink drawing by Alfred Wainwright (1907-1991) of Langdale Pikes from Blea Tarn fetched £1,100.

A painting of Talkin Tarn by contemporary artist Godfrey Tonks surpassed its estimate of £30-50, securing £550.

There were unexpected surprises in the auction which entertained spectators.

A 19th century Chinese porcelain tiled screen, estimated to sell for £250-350, went for an impressive £1,900.

A Persian vase in the style of William De Morgan (1839-1917) with an unassuming estimate of £100-150 sold for £2,300.

Additionally, a Victorian ebonised cabinet with a secret compartment, expected to make £70-100, reached £2,000.

Among the valuable furniture pieces, an early 20th century mahogany longcase clock sold for £2,800.

An unusual three metre long wych elm kitchen table with a naturally wavy edge sold for £1,600, significantly above its £200-300 estimate.

The sale showcased a large single owner collection of art glass, studio ceramics, and textiles from the Scottish borders.

However, it was an antique hand stitched hexagonal honeycomb pattern patchwork quilt that turned out to be the most valuable lot from the collection, going for £850.

Entries are now being accepted for its next sale in June, with a closing date of Tuesday, May 21.