A VICTORIAN copy of a Rubens’ masterpiece has sold for £2,335 with the money going towards the first stage of a Huddersfield church’s £1.8m restoration project.
St John the Baptist Church in Kirkheaton put the painting under the hammer at Bonhams the auctioneers.
And the copy of Peter Paul Ruben’s Nativity 1628 – by an unknown artist – was auctioned off in a specialist sale. The money will go towards completing the first phases of the church’s restoration – saving a 17th century church monument to the mysterious ‘Black Dick’.
The first Sir Richard Beaumont was knighted in 1609 by James I who dubbed him Black Dick of the North probably because of his dark curly hair and moustache.
He became MP for Pontefract in 1625 and a baronet in 1628, dying a wealthy bachelor in 1631.
His cousin Thomas commissioned the sculptor Nicholas Stone to erect the monument in the Kirkheaton church.
It is made from alabaster with a coloured effigy of Black Dick lying on a tomb chest.
The Vicar, the Rev Richard Steel, said: “The restoration of the monument is an important first step in the project to develop the church and we hope this painting will attract a lot of interest. We plan to restore the chapel closer to its original medieval form, as well as develop the rest of the church to meet the needs of today.”
Church members are still fundraising so that they can pay for further restoration in the church.
Anyone interested in finding out more about the project can contact the Parish Office on 01484 531449.