Auctioneer hopes for Brontë hat-trick

The watercolour believed to be a portrait of the three writers
The watercolour believed to be a portrait of the three writers
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AN AUCTIONEER is hoping to score a hat-trick, selling a third item believed to be linked to the literary Brontë sisters.

The painting, thought to be a hitherto unknown watercolour of Anne, Emily and Charlotte Brontë, is the latest in the series of items concerning the trio to go under the hammer.

Believed to be by 19th century English artist Sir Edwin Landseer, it will be included in a two-day fine art and antiques sale later this month at JP Humbert Auctioneers in Northamptonshire.

It follows the auction house’s sale of a small portrait believed to be of Emily Brontë recently for £4,600. In December, JP Humbert sold another painting of the writer for £23,836.

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said there was no estimate on the latest discovery, as it was impossible to say how much it would fetch, but he was hoping for a third sale of a Brontë- related artefact.

Mr Humbert said the painting had been attributed by a team from the National Portrait Gallery, as well as four years of research by the vendor.

He said there were ten evidential reasons supporting the suggestion it was of the Brontë sisters, and said its quality suggested it could only be attributed to an artist of Landseer’s distinction.

The work is believed to be signed by Landseer, and matches known features of the sisters.

“This is an exciting and important painting of museum quality and has a story to tell,” he said. “I hope the art world will embrace it accordingly.”