Norfolk painting could fetch £9,000 under the hammer in US

Boats On The River Yare, by Norwich artist Alfred Stannard (1806-1889), will be auctioned at Christi

Boats On The River Yare, by Norwich artist Alfred Stannard (1806-1889), will be auctioned at Christie’s in New York on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. - Credit: Archant

A 19-century Norfolk oil painting owned and treasured by a man once called 'the most famous pianist on the planet' is set to fetch between £6,000 to £9,000 at auction in America.

Boats on the River Yare by Norwich artist Alfred Stannard is among 300 of the musician Van Cliburn's predominantly antique possessions which are expected to sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars at Christie's at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York on March 5.

The Castle Museum and Art Gallery in Norwich owns 18 Stannard oil paintings – including the 1846 picture On the River Yare – but it remains to be seen if it will bid to bring the Cliburn picture home to Norfolk.

Alfred Stannard was born in Norwich in 1806 – the year after the death of Norfolk-born Lord Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar – and was the younger brother of another leading Norwich artist, Joseph Stannard.

He exhibited with the Norwich Society of Artists between 1830 and 1832, and two of his children, Alfred George Stannard and Eloise Harriet Stannard, also became artists.

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Towards the end of his life, Alfred Stannard senior received a pension of £50 from the Turner Fund of the Royal Academy in London.

He lived and worked at St Andrew's Hall Plain, Norwich, where he died on January 26, 1889, leaving £450 in his will.

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Now his pictures often fetch thousands of pounds at auctions. At Christie's in London in 2011, his painting Pakefield, near Lowestoft sold for £5,250.

Van Cliburn, who owned the painting going to auction next month, was a Texan musician who became world renowned at 23 when, at the height of the Cold War in 1958, he won the first Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow.

A new world auction record for an Alfred Stannard painting was set at Christie's South Kensington in London on November 14, 2013, when his 1839 oil painting Sheep Dipping At Trowse Mill, Norwich, sold for £17,500.

Before the auction it had been expected to sell for between £4,000 and £6,000.

Have you got a story about the arts? Email our Arts correspondent Emma Knights at

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