A seascape by Turner that auctioneers had predicted could have become the most expensive work yet by the British artist failed to find a buyer yesterday.
Sheerness As Seen From The 'Nore' was predicted to go under the hammer at Christie's in New York for £5.5m, or perhaps break the £6.7m record, set in 1994 for Seascape: Folkestone. But it failed to reach its undisclosed reserve price.
J M W Turnerpainted it after visiting Sheerness in 1805 to see HMS Victory returning from Trafalgar with the body of Lord Nelson. The 3ft by 4ft canvas was the largest he could squeeze on to the Nore, a small boat that he took out at the busy anchorage to sketch his work.
It was sold to a merchant, Samuel Dobree, whose son sold it in 1842 for 170 guineas to the Baring banking family. It was later bought by Robert Loyd Lindsay, who became Lord Wantage and whose family sold it in 1991 to yesterday's anonymous vendor.