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Sir John Lavery artwork makes double its estimate at auction

By Lesley Houston

Two of Belfast's most notable artists have surpassed expectations in an auction of important Irish art, with a Sir John Lavery portrait scooping double its anticipated price.

When the Irish impressionist's A Bacchante went under the hammer at Whyte's of Dublin it was tipped to attract between €60-80,000, but bidding continued on Monday night until the gavel came down at €135,000 (£95,455). The painting is of a notable socialite of the time, Ruby Peto.

The impressive price was achieved at an auction in which Maam Valley, the work of another Belfast artist, Paul Henry, went for €52,000 (just over £36,750), also exceeding hopes.

The paintings were part of an auction which scooped nearly a million euro in just three hours.

The prices grossed prompted the auction house to describe on Twitter that the sales were testiment that the Irish art market had "bounced back".

Another painting, Gladys Cooper by Sir William Orpen, also doubled its estimate, reaching €175,000 (£123,000).

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