EARLY sketches by a renowned artist are to go under the hammer in Colchester on Wednesday.

Three rough drawings by Lucian Freud will be sold by Colchester auctioneer Reeman Dansie.

The sketches have been brought forward by East Anglia artist Maggi Hambling, who was given them by Sir Cedric Morris.

German born Freud who died in 2011, attended Sir Cedric’s East Anglian School of Painting and Drawing, in Dedham in 1939, before moving to Benton End, near Hadleigh, in Suffolk.

The sketches, thought to have been made in about 1939 when he was aged 19 or 20, show a seated man, estimated to fetch between £8,000 and £10,000 and a male torso and two female nudes, each priced between £3,000 and £4,000.

Each were accompanied by Sir Cedric’s words to Miss Hambling: “I think you should have these, it's good for artists to have other artists work.”

Jonathan Benson, auctioneer and valuer at Reeman Dansie, based in Wyncolls Road, said: “It is very exciting to have these sketches here.

“Freud is very in vogue at the moment and people with money who like art are spending it things like this.

“Only last year a full oil painting of his went for £3.8million, so that shows how popular his work is.”