UK AUCTIONEER DISCOVERS CACHE OF FORGOTTEN DRAWINGS BY GEORGE CHINNERY An album of George Chinnery drawings discovered at a house clearance has prompted international interest after auctioneers estimated it could be worth more than £100,000.
also responsible for the music activities at the school and was an active member of Portsmouth Music Society. As deputy musical director, he helped organise many concerts and, on at least two occasions, conducted the orchestra for performances of his own works.
At Portsmouth, he met his future wife, Joan Broadbent. She was born in Oldham and attended the Hulme Grammar School. She obtained a degree in English at Manchester University and during her time there was a keen member of the University Choral Society. After teacher training, also at Manchester, she took up her first post as an English teacher at Portsmouth Girls' Grammar School. The couple married in 1954 and had two sons, John who was born in 1957, and Hugh, who was born in 1965. The family moved to Liverpool in 1961-2, Mr Seton taking a position as a lecturer in music at the C. F. Mott Teacher Training College, later part of Liverpool Polytechnic. Mrs Seton, meanwhile, taught English at the Liverpool Institute.
A position teaching composition and music theory at the Royal Northern College of Music led Mr Seton to move his family to Manchester in 1969-70, and Mrs Seton taught English for a short period at the Central High School of Art. She was a member of the Manchester University Choral Society and joined the Portico Library. In 1974, the family moved to Belfield Road, Didsbury, where the album of drawings was subsequently discovered. Mr Seton retired soon after and died in 1985. Mrs Seton died in March this year.
It is not known how the album came into Mr Seton's possession, although clearly he had a strong interest in art. It is believed that the Chinnery drawings, which were found in the piano room at Belfield Road, had not seen the light of day for 30 years before they were discovered by Michael Perry of Capes Dunn.
Michael Perry said: "I knew straight away the drawings were by Chinnery. He used an ancient form of shorthand to annotate his work which is almost impossible to decipher but the hieroglyphics are a trademark of his work.
"The discovery is hugely exciting to collectors and scholars. We expect international interest in the sale, and because of its closeness to Macao, where the majority of the drawings were done, particularly from Hong Kong. Chinese collectors are currently very active in the fine art market and are keen to buy examples of their history."
George Chinnery (1774-1852) led a life of extravagance and reckless borrowing to finance his opium addiction. He exhibited at the Royal Academy in London at the age of 17, after which he fled to India to escape his wife. When she followed him there, he moved to Macao, where he spent most of the early 19th century documenting the Portuguese colony, as well as Hong Kong and other parts of the Far East. His sketched landscapes are remarkable for the quality of their draughtsmanship.
Both his grandfather and father were accomplished at penmanship