More items from Hertfordshire County Council’s art collection are due to go under the hammer on Thursday (April 25).

The county council built up its impressive collection over a number of years, after starting to purchase art that could be loaned to schools in 1949.

But in 2017 councillors took the controversial decision to sell off – or give away – the bulk of the collection.

And today (April 25)  82 drawings, paintings and prints from the collection are due to go up for sale at Cheffins Cambridge-based auction house.

Among the items in the sale is the signed watercolour Rock face, by Nan Youngman, who pioneered the Pictures for Schools exhibitions in London.

Stooks a work by Vera Cunningham in watercolour and gouache, also from the 20th century, is on offer.

And there are numbered prints of Shadows and Shade and Reflections by American artist Ann-Marie Le Quesne. Auctioneers say the bright colours in her silkscreen works epitomise the collecting habits of the council around this 1970s period.

At the first auction of items from the council’s collection, last month (March), pieces were sold for up to £37,000 – raising a total of £444,000.

But this time estimates for the pieces listed for auction range between £30 and £200.

Speaking in advance of the sale, auctioneer Brett Tryner said bidders were likely to find the estimates more affordable.

Mr Tryner said: “Unlike the first sale, which saw some rare pictures achieve premium prices, the works offered in this sale are more reflective of the majority of the Hertfordshire County Council collection, featuring more affordable and readily-available prints.

“This sale will give a greater chance for Hertfordshire residents and other people associated with the collection the opportunity.”

The council has previously said that funds raised from the sale of art will be used to improve the condition and visibility of the ‘nationally significant’ sculptures it owns.

Funds , they have said, will also be invested in the pieces it retains to increase accessibility, improve display and interpretation.

The four most valuable items in the council’s collection – with an estimated value of £21.86 million – have not been earmarked for disposal.

Last month’s auction – dubbed The Curated Eye – Selected Works From Hertfordshire County Council – featured 152 of the county council’s 20th century pieces.

Many of the works – by artists that included John Tunnard, Joan Eardley and Robert MacBryde – sold for sums far in excess of their estimates.

The council artwork to sell for the highest price at the auction was John Tunnard’s Brandis ’44, which sold for £37,000 – well over its estimate of £10,000 to £15,000.

Anne Redpath’s Blue Plate sold for £31,000 – three times its lower estimate of £10,000.

Meanwhile a pastel by Scottish artist Joan Eardley raised £31,000. And Keith Vaughan’s Grey Shore Seascape was sold for £27,000.

The county council’s decision to sell off the artworks has been controversial.

In  June last year a 1,500-signature petition called  for the plans to to be halted and for the exploration of further ways to fund and manage the collection for future generations.

The county council was approached for a comment.