Unidentified circle of Towne
  • Church at Bicton, Devonshire
No date
Pen and brown ink, brown, blue, and grey washes
  • image height 180mm,
  • image width 230mm
Object Type
Monochrome wash

Catalogue Number
Description Sources
Examination; Brightwell’s records (image)


On sale at Phillips on 9 November 1999, lot 16, as by John White Abbott, and sold to a dealer. It was offered for sale at Brightwell’s, again as by John White Abbott, on 5/6 November 2014, lot 648.

Associated People & Organisations

Brightwells Fine Art, Leominster, 5 November 2014, lot 648
Phillips, 9 November 1999, lot 16


As the 2014 Brightwell’s catalogue stated convincingly, this shows the medieval church at Bicton, which was partially demolished in the Victorian era and incorporated within the Rolle family mausoleum. 

Although this watercolour has been attributed to John White Abbott, it is insufficiently robust to be considered his work. The evocation of depth in the right foreground, the scrappy brush strokes making up the logs on the ground and the surrounding area, and the lack of definition in the group of trees as a whole are not characteristic of Abbott’s incisive draughtsmanship.

by Richard Stephens

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