AN HISTORIC piece of art has returned to its home in Portsmouth after a chance auction online.
The watercolour painting of Wymering Manor recently appeared on online auction site eBay, having been created more than 100 years ago.
The manor in Old Wymering Lane was built in 1581 and this painting by Charles A Pearce is dated to 1907.
It is thought that Pearce was a guest at the manor when he painted what the rear of the house looked like at the time.
Since 2013, Wymering Manor has been owned and operated by The Wymering Manor Trust which is working to restore the property.
The trust has received the picture from an anonymous donor, who apparently found the painting up for auction.
Volunteer co-ordinator Annmarie Ridgeway said that seeing the painting for the first time was a ‘really lovely’ feeling.
She said: ‘We first saw it a couple of years ago and it was going for a few hundred pounds.
‘Recently it went up for auction again, but we really didn’t expect to have it sent to us so that was a lovely surprise.’
Since the painting arrived, it has been framed and placed in the manor’s great hall.
Volunteers have been researching the history of the painting, as well as the background of Charles A Pearce.
‘There are obviously a lot of differences in how the manor looked then and how it is now,’ Annmarie said.
‘The garden is a lot smaller now, and in the painting there is a conservatory which we don't have now.
‘Pearce was actually staying here when he made this, and spent a couple of afternoons working on it.
‘We were all very touched by the donation of this painting; we all work really hard and to see something like this happen is really nice.’
Thought to be the oldest residential property in Portsmouth, Wymering Manor has hosted a number of historical figures in the past, such as Queen Emma of the Sandwich Islands and Jane Austen’s brother, Sir Frances Austen.
The trust is looking for more volunteers for renovation work – for info email firstname.lastname@example.org.