250-year-old Putney Bridge painting to go under hammer at Christie's
A mid-18th century painting of Putney Bridge is expected to fetch more than £20,000 when it goes on sale at world famous auctioneers Christie's next week.
The oil on canvas painting depicts the bridge in its previous guise, as Fulham Bridge, when it was made of timber and was the first to span the stretch of Thames between London Bridge and Kingston Bridge.
An Act of Parliament, supported by then Prime Minister Robert Walpole, was passed in 1726 to build a toll bridge to link Fulham with that of Putney and it was opened in 1729.
The stone toll-house at the north end of the bridge is clearly visible in the foreground, as is the bell added so toll collectors could raise the alarm when they were attacked by highwaymen.
The wooden structure survived until late 19th century when it was replaced by the granite Putney Bridge which was designed by Joseph Bazalgette.
While the artist of the work has not been conclusively identified, a possible attribution to Joseph Nicholls (1726-1755) has been suggested.
The painting goes under hammer on March 19 at Christie's as lot 80 with an estimate of £20,000-£30,000.