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Pensioners' £100 art buy nets fortune

A pensioner couple who bought a Victorian oil painting for less than £100 were said to be "amazed and delighted" yesterday when it sold at auction for £185,000.

The bustling landscape of Salthouse Dock in Liverpool, by John Atkinson Grimshaw, has been owned by the anonymous Northumberland couple for 50 years since they bought it from a dealer in London's Burlington Arcade.

Leeds-born Grimshaw painted it in 1892 and it has hung on the wall of the owners' home, gaining in value as his collectability increased. It sold at the Alnwick salerooms of Jim Railton for £185,000.

Mr Railton said the oil on canvas had been estimated to fetch between £100,000 and £150,000. "Such paintings rarely come on to the market and the atmosphere in the saleroom was electric."