A PAINTING by a Jack the Ripper ‘suspect’ has sold for £14,000 in Oxford.

Walter Sickert’s ‘Figures in the Rain’ was estimated to sell for between £4,000 and £6,000 at Mallams Auctioneers’ Modern Art sale on Wednesday.

Instead, the 26 x 18cm oil on canvas fetched £14,000.

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Oxford Mail: Walter Sickert’s ‘Figures in the Rain’. Picture: Mallams AuctioneersWalter Sickert’s ‘Figures in the Rain’. Picture: Mallams Auctioneers

A Mallams spokesperson said of the painting, which bears a lower left signature: “Having a work by Walter Sickert is obviously very exciting – his works are displayed at the Ashmolean here in Oxford.

“His works are always dark with his palette, and it’s achieved a great price here.”

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Whether Mr Sickert was involved in one of the world’s most captivating unsolved mysteries has been debated by authors.

Oxford Mail: A poster for the capture of Jack the Ripper. Picture: PAA poster for the capture of Jack the Ripper. Picture: PA

The ‘Jack the Ripper Tour’ website states: “Walter Sickert is one of the most recent Jack the Ripper suspects, having not been named a suspect until some 80 years after the infamous Whitechapel murders.

“While Sickert’s name has been mentioned in relation to the Jack the Ripper killings by a number of different authors, the nature of his connection with the case is widely disputed.

“Some – like Stephen Knight – believe he was complicit in the murders, while others – such as Jean Overton Fuller and Patricia Cornwell – believe that Sickert was responsible entirely for the autumn of terror and was the real Jack the Ripper.”

In 2002, Ms Cornwell released a book, ‘Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed’, on her theory that Mr Sickert was Jack the Ripper.

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This story was written by Liam Rice, he joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Liam covers politics, travel and transport. He occasionally covers Oxford United.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Liam.rice@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailLiamRice