A regional auctioneer in the UK, Bellman’s,has a painting they hope is a late Joseph Wright of Derby work which they’ve valued at £70-90k but are hoping will sell for more on April 24th. Perhaps the best part of the story is that the work came to light because a builder was working at the home of a Bellmans’ specialist and brought up the fact that his family had a Joseph Wright they wanted to sell:
In accordance with Judy Egerton’s exhibition catalogue for the Tate, it was noted that two versions of this painting were produced. While one is known to currently reside at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, the other remains unaccountable. ‘Landscape with Rainbow’ was frequently made reference to in accounts books, letters and papers, which suggests that the painting in Bellmans sale may in fact be the second copy, currently absent from listings. Of the two copies, one was recorded to have been painted for Nathanial Philips in 1795 and was scheduled to be sent to America. This version has never been traced and has been unrecorded for 200 years. The other painting was documented to have been part of the contents of Wright’s studio sale which took place in 1801. At this point Wright’s daughter and descendants took procession of thepainting. It was later passed to A. J. Keene and ultimately purchased by the Derby Museum in 1913.