AN oil painting by a distinguished Southampton artist, which sold for less than £10 in 1917, is now coming up for sale again at an auction, but this time it is set to fetch nearer £10,000.

The 16-in by 12-in picture titled The Pose is by Southampton-born Edward John Gregory and was sold at Christie’s in London on December 3,1917, during the First World War, for nine guineas, or £9.45 in modern money.

Now, nearly 100 years later, the picture is returning to Christie’s where on Tuesday June 16 it is expected to sell for between £7,000 and £10,000.

Auctioneers Christie’s say: “The Pose exemplifies the Regency Revival of the 1880s, especially relating to the sitter’s dress. The artist is reflected in the convex mirror above the lady’s head and can be seen painting a much larger picture than The Pose.

“Gregory trained at the Royal Academy and made his name with illustrations for The Graphic magazine. His paintings of modern life were much admired both at the Grosvenor Gallery and at the Royal Academy and his posthumous sale of 106 works held at Christie’s, included his masterpiece Boulter’s Lock: Sunday Afternoon, a celebration of the Thames boating craze.”

Edward Gregory was born in Southampton on April 19, 1850, and was the eldest of the eight children of ship’s engineer, Edward Gregory senior, and wife Mary Ann (nee Taylor).

At the time of the 1851 Census, the Gregory family were living at 17 Clifford Street, Southampton.

But sometime between 1851 and 1861 they moved to 2 Ashton Villas, Southampton.

Edward Gregory was educated at Dr Cruikshank’s school in Southampton and when he left school at the age of 15 he went to work in the drawing office at the P&O Steamship Company.

He also attended art classes in Southampton and that is where he met German-born artist, Hubert

Herkomer, who became a lifelong friend.

Together they went to London, where they attended South Kensington Art School. Herkomer said in

his autobiography that when Gregory’s mother put the question of her son’s career to him, Herkomer

replied: “He has more talent than any of us.”

From Southampton, Edward John Gregory went on to become one of Britain’s most distinguished artists and that was officially confirmed on January 19, 1898, when he was elected to the prestigious Royal Academy, which entitled him to place the letters ‘RA’ after his name.

He was only the second Southampton artist to become a Royal Academician. The first was Sir John Everett Millais, who became an RA on December 18, 1863.

Since the Royal Academy was founded in 1768, there have been only around 600 Royal Academicians including Turner, Constable and Gainsborough. There have been only four Southampton-born Royal Academicians:

Millais, Gregory, pop artist Allen Jones, who was born in 1937, and sculptor Eric Schilsky (1898-1974).

Edward John Gregory also won gold medals for his work at exhibitions in Paris, Brussels and Munich. Some of his work is now in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and the British Museum, London.

This month marks the 106th anniversary of his death – at the age of 59 - on June 22, 1909. He left £776 twelve shillings and tuppence,o r £776.61p in modern money.

Since his death, the value of his work has steadily increased. The current world auction record for a Gregory picture is £48,800, the sum paid at Sotheby’s in London on June 15, 2000, for an oil painting titled Portrait of Mabel, daughter of Charles Galloway.