Italian artist’s portrait of a girl sells for £6,000

A portrait of an Italian girl in an elaborate costume by artist Raffaele Giannetti was the star of Halls Summer Auction of Pictures, Silver and Jewellery in Shropshire on Wednesday, as it sold for an estimate-busting hammer price of £6,000.

Valued at between £3,000 and £5,000, the oil of canvas by Giannetti (1832-1916) went under the hammer at Shrewsbury-based fine art auction house Halls and secured the top price to the delight of its owner who lives in Newtown.

James Forster, Halls’ head of the picture department, said he was pleased with the price achieved at auction for the “beautifully painted” portrait.

He believes there are many more fine pictures waiting to be discovered in Mid Wales, which he plans to visit regularly in the future. He will be in the area on Friday, July 3 and already has appointments Montgomery, Carno and Aberdovey.

Born in 1832 in the Italian town of Porto Maurizio, Giannetti is best known for his figure paintings, including genre scenes, nudes and portraits, mainly using ladies as his subjects. He also painted historical scenes.

Another painting that sold well at the auction was a river landscape with two figures and a dog by Benjamin Williams Leader (1831-1923), which exceeded its pre-sale estimate to find a new home for £3,500.

“The £1,500 to £2,500 estimate reflected the painting’s condition and size,” said Mr Forster. “It was an opportunity for connoisseurs to bid for a painting by arguably one of the most accomplished Victorian landscape artists.”

The market for prints also remains strong with a signed lithograph by Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) titled ‘Marriage of Cana’, fetching £1,550.

Anyone wishing to make an appointment with Mr Forster should contact him at Halls’ Shrewsbury headquarters on Tel: 01743 450700.

For more information please contact James Forster, Halls’ head of pictures, on Tel: 01743 450700 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations adviser, on 01686 650818.

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