The Cotman Collection

Auction 25th May 2023; featuring works by JS Cotman and four other generations of the Cotman family


Dawsons Auctioneers is thrilled to announce the upcoming sale of the Cotman Collection on May 25th, 2023 (09:30, BST). The collection features works by John Sell Cotman, a renowned artist who was a founding member of the Norwich School of painters. His artistic talent was passed down through four generations of his family, with two of his sons and a nephew becoming notable artists themselves.


John Sell Cotman 'Portait of the Artist's Father Edmund Cotman

John Sell Cotman (British, 1782-1842), 'Portait of the Artist's Father Edmund Cotman

Estimate £500-£800


The Norwich Society, which was the first provincial artistic movement in Great Britain, was formed with the aim of exploring the best methods of studying painting to achieve greater perfection. The society drew inspiration from the local landscapes, with the Dutch 17th century realists exerting a significant influence on their plein air painting in watercolour. This style predates the impressionist movement and was characterized by a realistic vision of the British countryside, rather than the idealistic version presented to the aristocracy at the time.


Frederick George Cotman RI. ROI. (British, 1850-1920), 'Greeting St Mary - The Vale of the Gipping'

Frederick George Cotman RI. ROI. (British, 1850-1920), 'Greeting St Mary - The Vale of the Gipping'

Estimate £500-£800


The Cotman Collection includes works from each generation of the family, as well as contributions from their wider circle. The collection showcases the development of each artist's talent and the range of mediums they used, including watercolour, oil paintings, and etchings. The collection spans over 200 years of British painting within one family and offers a unique opportunity to purchase works from this exceptional dynasty. The collection has been lovingly assembled by the Cotman family and features pieces from John Sell Cotman all the way through to Susan Wiltshire, Nee Cotman, who passed away in 2022.


Miles Edmund Cotman (British, 1810-1858) 'The Dreadnought & Grampus

Miles Edmund Cotman (British, 1810-1858) 'The Dreadnought & Grampus'

Estimate £300-£500



The sale catalogue featuring the full collection comprising of over 200 works will be online shortly. If you would like any further information, please feel free to contact us on 0207 431 9445 or by email on