RARE sketches by a world-famous artist are expected to fetch thousands of pounds when they go under the hammer.

Colchester auctioneers Reeman Dansie, based in Wyncolls Road, will be selling two drawings by John Constable this week.

A picture entitled Shipping Off The Kent Coast has been estimated to fetch between £15,000 and £20,000.


It is understood to have been drawn by Constable in 1803 while onboard the East Indiaman Coutts.

Captain Robin Torin is thought to have been a friend of Constable’s father.

Constable is said to have spent time on board and braved stormy weather before heading to London.

The second drawing, A Church On The Estuary, is from a page of the sketch book of laid paper watermarked 1806 and used by Constable in 1808 and 1809.


Auctioneer Jonathan Benson said he was excited to see what sort of bids they would attract.

“Of course, these sorts of thing spring up from time to time and to have one is very nice,” he said.

“But to have two is a real treat.

“They have come from East Anglian collections and we have already had lots of interest both locally and from London.

“The more expensive drawing is from a collection we know was done when he was aboard the ship.

“That is larger and the smaller one is directly from his sketchbook.

“You can see where it has been torn out.

“Some people will say they are just pencil drawings, why are they so special?

“But even from just a few lines you can see what a great artist he was and how good a draftsman.”

Other lots in the auction include a drawing by Lionel Constable - the notable artist’s son - and a cloud study described as being Circle of Constable - meaning it was done by him or someone close to him.

They are likely to go for hundreds of pounds.

Mr Benson added: “They are certainly cheaper, so if you are looking for something in the Constable collection, but at a lower price then they may be a good bet.

“The cloud study has previously been sold as being a genuine Constable, but experts have argued it is not high enough quality. It is impossible to say for sure so it has been marked as Circle of Constable.”

Constable split his time between London and his home in East Bergholt and painted stunning landscapes of the area. His art was so spectacular that the area has now become popularly known as Constable Country.

Paintings by Constable have previously fetched millions of pounds at London-based auction house Christie’s.

In 2012, an oil painting called The Lock brought in £22,441,250 while View On The Stour which is based on an area near Dedham sold for £14,082,500 four years later.