Iconic painting of Suffolk landmark stolen in heist

SUFFOLK: Police are today searching for a �40,000 oil painting of barges at Pin Mill which was stolen from an art gallery.

The 16 by 24-inch picture, titled Thames Barges At Low Water, Pin Mill, is by the illustrious Norwich-born artist Edward Seago and was one of three pictures, worth a total of �170,000, snatched during a break-in at the Trinity House gallery at High Street, Broadway, Worcestershire.

The burglary happened at 1.50am on August 6 and four young men in dark clothing and hats were later seen running off.

Simon Shore, co-owner of Trinity House, said: “If there is an attempt to sell them on, these instantly recognisable pictures by well-known British artists, will be worthless on the open market.”

Mr Seago was frequently inspired by the River Orwell and earlier this year ten of his sought-after Orwell paintings, worth around �500,000, went on sale at the prestigious Richard Green Gallery in London’s West End.

Among these pictures was one entitled, Half Tide On The Orwell, formerly owned by the Queen Mother’s trusted servant, the late William “Backstairs Billy” Tallon.

It was sold for �20,000 along with the rest of Mr Tallon’s treasured possessions, at Reeman Dansie Auctions in Colchester on July 5, 2008. Less than two years later, in January 2010, it was put up for sale by Richard Green, one of Britain’s major art dealers, for �35,000.

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Mr Seago’s work was much admired and collected by the royal family, notably by the late Queen Mother and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Prince of Wales is also a Seago fan and praised his work in a foreword to Jean Goodman’s 1978 biography, Edward Seago: The Other Side Of The Canvas.

Prince Charles said: “I can only say that I was powerfully influenced by the impression his pictures made on me and eventually I could no longer resist the temptation to experiment with watercolours myself.

“Whatever the so-called experts may say, Ted Seago’s gifts will long be remembered, valued and loved. His work was in the best tradition of that peculiarly English school of landscape artists, with which few others can compare.”

Anyone with information about the theft can anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or Chris Monks on 01483 891999 or by writing to Criterion Adjusters Ltd, 2 Birtley Courtyard, Bramley, Surrey, GU5 OLA.

n Have you had something precious stolen? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters @eveningstar.co.uk