Painting of flower sold for £265,000 at auction

A watercolour of roses painted in the early 19th century has sold at auction in London for a six-figure sum.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), the image of the Four Seasons Rose (Rosa bifera officinalis) went for £265,000 as Sotheby’s auction house sold off the collection of the Fermor-Hesketh family, much of which was brought together by Frederick, the second baron of Hesketh.

Painted by Pierre-Joseph Redoute, the watercolour was originally sold to King Charles X of France in 1828, before finding its way to the new owners.

The royal purchased the painting at a time when the popularity of roses was at its pinnacle.

It was one of more than 50 Redoute originals sold at the auction, which also included a collection of books, drawings and manuscripts.

Baron Frederick had collected letters relating to the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots and a first folio by William Shakespeare.

However, the headlines were stolen by an extremely rare copy of John James Audbubon’s Birds of America, which became the most expensive book ever sold at auction, going for a price of £7,321,250.

The RHS recently revealed how volunteers have planted thousands of trees on riversides in Cumbria in the hope of solving the area’s flood problems.