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Valuable Erasmus Darwin painting set to go under the hammer

Jospeh Wright's painting of Erasmus Darwin. Pic: Sotheby's

Jospeh Wright's painting of Erasmus Darwin. Pic: Sotheby's

A painting of one of Lichfield’s most famous sons is expected to fetch big money when it goes under the hammer.

A portrait of Erasmus Darwin goes up for auction on Thursday (July 7) at Sotheby’s in London.

Estimates suggest the oil painting could fetch up to £150,000.

The painting was the work of Darwin’s friend Joseph Wright and was completed in 1770.

A copy of the work is on display at Erasmus Darwin House in Lichfield, but Alison Wallis, the centre’s curator, believes the original is likely to be sold to an overseas bidder. She added:

“The interest in this piece of work will be huge. We’ve looked into finding a grant to support the purchase of the portrait but there is no way we can match it. Chances are it will end up leaving the country which will be very sad for the museum.”

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