Arts Council England has received notifications of sale for the following items which have previously been exempted from capital taxation. Please note that the price given is intended as a rough guide only, and does not constitute an offer to sell at this price. The practice of the auction houses is usually to pitch this at their high auction estimate or, sometimes, even higher.


1. Bernardo Bellotto (Venice 1721-1780 Warsaw)
The Fortress of Konigstein, from the North and The Fortress of Konigstein, from the South, circa 1757
oil on canvas
132.1 x 236.2cm each
a pair

Guide price: £20,500,000 


2. Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828-1882)
Venus Verticordia
signed with monogram l.l.
watercolour with bodycolour
36 by 33cm., 14 by 13in.


Purchased in 1864 from the artist by George Rae for 100 guineas;
Purchased in 1917 from the Trustees of the Estate of George Rae by William Hesketh Lever, 1st
Viscount Leverhulme and thence by descent


London, Royal Academy, Works by the Old Masters, Including a Special Selection from the
Works of John Linnell and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, 1883, no.312 (lent by George Rae);
Port Sunlight, Lady Lever Art Gallery, The Pre-Raphaelites – Their Friends and Followers –
Centenary Exhibition, 1948, no.166 (lent by Viscount Leverhulme)


William Sharpe, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, A Record and Study, 1882, p.207;
William Michael Rossetti, D.G. Rossetti as a Designer and Writer, 1889, p.48-50;
H.C. Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Illustrated Memorial of his Art and Life, 1899, p.150
illustrated opposite p.134;
H.C. Marillier, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Illustrated Memorial of his Art and Life, 2nd edition, 1901,
Kerrison Preston (ed.), Letters from Graham Robertson, 1953, p.397;
Virginia Surtees, Dante Gabriel Rossetti 1828-1882 – The Paintings and Drawings – A Catalogue
Raisonne, 2 volumes, 1971, vol. I p.100 R.I;
Jan Marsh, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Painter and Poet, 1999, pp.280, 290 

Guide price: £1,400,000


3. THE LIBRARY OF DR HUGH SELBOURNE (1906-1973) previously on deposit at Birmingham University

Hugh Selbourne (1906-1973) was a Manchester physician of French-Jewish birth. Born in Paris, he qualified in London in the 1920s, and moved to Manchester in 1938 where he remained for the rest of his life. He began collecting books as a student and continued for the next forty years. The Library encompasses a wide range of subjects: a core of science and medicine (especially early members of the Royal Society), but also incunabula, literature of all periods (chiefly English and French), philosophy, economics, and some travel, Americana, natural history, and private press. There are two or three Medieval/Renaissance manuscripts, and a few 19th century and modern manuscripts with the most important being John Ruskin and William Morris.


Very Provisional Total Guide Price:  total auction estimate £1.3m-1.8m

Sale: Bonham's 25 March 2015 with further sales if necessary to take place in the autumn of 2015


NOTE: The library comprises a very large number of individual items a list of which is available. Anybody interested please contact Anastasia Tennant (details below)


4. POMPEO GIROLAMO BATONI Lucca 1708 - 1787 Rome 
signed and dated lower right: POMPEO DE BATONI PINX ROMAE MDCCLXXIV
oil on canvas
249 by 175.2 cm.; 98 by 69 in.

Commissioned by the sitter in Rome in 1774;
Thence by descent.   

J. Steegman, 'Some English Portraits by Pompeo Batoni', The Burlington Magazine, LXXXVII, March 1946, p.63, no.65;

A. Denney, Burton Hall, privately published, 1950, photographed in the Dining Room B. Barsali, 'Pompeo Girolamo Batoni', Dizionario biografico degli italiani, Rome, vol. VII, 1965, p.201;

E.P. Bowron and F. Russell, 'A list of Pompeo Batoni's British sitters', in the exhibition catalogue, Pompeo Batoni and his British Patrons, London, Kenwood House, 1982, p. 92, no. 116;

A.M. Clark, Pompeo Batoni, Oxford 1985, p.332, no.375;

J. Ingamells, A Dictionary of British and Irish Travellers in Italy 1701-1800, New Haven and London 1997, p. 668  


5. Sir Stanley Spencer, R.A. (1891-1959)

Hilda and I at Burghclere

oil on canvas

30 x 20 in. (76 x 51 cm.)

Painted in 1955.



Purchased by Mr and Mrs G. J. ff. Chance at the 1955 exhibition.

Their sale; Christie’s, London, 28 February 1975, lot 94.

Private collection since circa 1975


Sale: Christie's King Street in the auction of Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale on 25 June 2015.

Guide price: £1,800,000



For further details please contact:

Anastasia Tennant
Acquisitions, Exports, Loans and Collections Unit 
Arts Council England
21 Bloomsbury Street
London WC1B 3HF
Direct Line: 020 7268 9553