Today at Sotheby’s in London, the only known head study for one of the most famous masterpieces of the nineteenth century, the pencil and white chalk study for Frederic, Lord Leighton’s Flaming June, sold to an American private collector for £167,000, an auction record for a work on paper by the artist* and four times over the pre-sale low estimate (£40,000-60,000). Various museums possess studies for the draperies in Flaming June, for the nude figure and for the overall composition, but this unique head study was only known from an illustration in the Magazine of Art of 1895. It was rediscovered hanging discreetly on a bedroom wall at West Horsley Place, the 400-acre Surrey estate that was home to the late Mary, Duchess of Roxburghe, by Sotheby’s Victorian Art specialist Simon Toll. The head study represents one of the most important surviving drawings relating to this

Read More: Study for Frederic, Lord Leighton’s Flaming June sells for £167,000 at Sotheby’s in London