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Lifelong global traveller's art fetches pounds 31k.

PAINTINGS belonging to a lifelong globetrotter who funded travels by selling parts of her collection raised pounds 10,000 more than expected when they were auctioned yesterday. One of the works, Osias Beert's Still Life with Glasses, Candlesticks and Pipe pulled in most of the cash when it sold for pounds 19,000.

The 16.75x22in oil had been estimated at pounds 2,500-pounds 3,500.

But others works did not do so well. Pieter van Bloemen's Figures and Animals in Classical Landscape was expected to sell for pounds 6,000-8,000 but made only pounds 5,200.

And Plums and Grapes in a Basket with Glass Rummer, from the school of William Sartorius, made only pounds 1,900.

That had been expected to go for up to pounds 3,000.

Two lots - 154 and 155 - did not sell. The total collection went for more than pounds 30,000.

The paintings were recovered from Hope Bovey's home in Penarth after she died on August 1. Eagle-eyed Chorley's auctioneer John Harvey spotted them in the background of furniture snapshots sent to him to value.

He said from the Gloucestershire auction house: "The total of the sale, as a group of things, made pounds 31,000, which was a little bit over what we had expected."

Ms Bovey had little cash of her own as she never worked and spent a lot of time looking after her parents.

So she spent her life funding trips by selling pieces from an art collection inherited from a friend in 1963 whose father left behind a treasure trove of Old Masters when he died in 1929.

It included works by Rembrandt, Rubens, Canaletto, Tintoretto and Aelbert Cuyp, many of which were auctioned off at Christie's.

But Ms Bovey ended up with as many as 30 minor masterpieces on her walls, including paintings worth thousands by important Flemish artists including Frans Snyders, Pieter Van Bloemen, Bonaventura Peeters and Osias Beert.

She went to the Galapagos, up the Amazon, to the Far East, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, Iceland, Vietnam, all the Baltic States and most of Europe.

She was one of the first to fly Concorde - despite sometimes being unable to afford a stamp for a postcard.

Her niece, Nicola Woodhouse, who lives in Leamington Spa, was pleased with the sale.

"There were gasps all over the place," she said, adding: "I think my aunt would have been delighted had she been alive, but very surprised."
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Dec 11, 2009
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