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£80,000 Collection of 20th Century British Pictures

Daniel Goddard, Head of the Picture Department, talks about the recent private collection sold at auction for £80,000 and provides some background to the early 20th Century artists whose work was featured in it.

North Moreton Church, Berkshire (FS32/337) by the artist John Piper (1903-1992), was sold for £20,000.

North Moreton Church, Berkshire (FS32/337) by the artist John Piper (1903-1992), was sold for £20,000.

It's always exciting to advise on 'a collection of pictures'. Authentic collections have real potential to be something special. We were recently asked to sell the property of a gentlemen from a cottage near Lustleigh in mid Devon and among the artefacts, furniture and works of art was a small collection of 20th Century British pictures, which in terms of the picture market ticked a lot of boxes.

The collection made £80,000 in our October 2016 Picture Auction. The pictures were in a dusty, but superb original condition with excellent provenance to selling exhibitions and good London galleries.

There was little information about how the collection had been formed but it was clearly by someone who was close to an interesting group of artists with an avant-garde eye and was active supporting new artists by buying new work that was fresh to the market in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.

The group included works by John Piper, Edmund Dulac, Eric Gill, John Nash and Paul Nash and the star of the group was arguably a pencil portrait of Augustus John by Percy Wyndam Lewis. An interesting collection indeed.

Portrait of Augustus John (FS32/308) by the artist Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)
        realised £10,000 in October 2016.

Portrait of Augustus John (FS32/308) by the artist Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) realised £10,000 in October 2016.

Wyndham Lewis was an English painter and author. He studied at the Slade School of Art, was co-founder of the Vorticist Movement and edited their magazine Blast. It was during the period 1913-1915 that he developed the style of abstraction, which his close friend Ezra Pound dubbed Vorticism, a combination of Cubism and Futurist Art.

After the war, Lewis resumed his painting career with an exhibition at the Leicester Galleries called Tyros & Portraits and today is considered to be amongst the best of painters and writers from the 20th Century.

Our Musical Hope (FS32/307) by Edmund Dulac (1882-1953), which fetched £3,350.

Our Musical Hope (FS32/307) by Edmund Dulac (1882-1953), which fetched £3,350.

Dulac was born in Toulouse where he first studied law and then took up Art. He went to the Academie Julian for a brief period, leaving for London in 1905. He became a brilliant and versatile illustrator, portrait painter and set designer. He looked to the Middle and Far East for inspiration. His watercolours have a gem like brilliance, found in Mogul pictures and a stylised space and beauty influenced by Japanese prints, and in depictions of character there are also clearly borrowings from Rackham mannerisms.

John Piper was a painter, notably of architecture and landscape, a designer of stained glass, theatre sets, author and writer. He studied Art at Richmond, Kingston, The Royal College and in Paris was absorbed by the abstract painters he met there. In 1937, he worked, along with John Betjamin, on the famous Shell Series of Guide Books.

His first solo show, of collages and drawings, was at the London Gallery in 1938. At this time he was also a prolific writer, working for the New Statesman and the Athenaeum. John Piper went on to exhibit with the Leicester Galleries from 1940-1960. In 1940, Piper persuaded the War Artists Commission that he should paint the sites of bombed churches and as a convert to the Anglican Church and with the subject of ruined buildings being close to his heart, this agreed commission produced a number of his finest mixed media works.

If you have a collection of pictures or have inherited a collection of pictures and would like an up-to-date valuation or advice then please contact Dan Goddard or Martin Scadgell in the Picture Department.

The watercolour Field at Wiston (Sussex) (FS32/335) by the artist John Northcote Nash (1893-1977) realsied ££4,900.

The watercolour Field at Wiston (Sussex) (FS32/335) by the artist John Northcote Nash (1893-1977) realised ££4,900.

The Garden of Cyrus (FS32/336) by John Northcote Nash (1893-1977) went under the hammer for £4,000.

The Garden of Cyrus (FS32/336) by John Northcote Nash (1893-1977) went under the hammer for £4,000.

Tags

  • Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood
  • Fine Art
  • 20th Century British Pictures
  • Edmund Dulac (1882-1953)
  • Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957)
  • John Northcote Nash (1893-1977)
  • Paul Nash (1889-1946)
  • John Piper (1903-1992)

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Sale FS31; Lot: 0417: Manner of Michelangelo Caravaggio late 18th/19th Century - The Lute Player-, a young courtesan seated playing a string instrument, other musical instruments at his feet oil on canvas 123 x 88cm.

Sale: FS31 (12 Jul 2016)
Auction Lot: 0417
Estimate: £800-£1,200
Realised: £26,200
Manner of Michelangelo Caravaggio late 18th/19th Century - The Lute Player-, a young courtesan seated playing a string instrument, other musical instruments at his feet oil on canvas 123 x ...

Sale FS30; Lot: 0111: Patek Philippe. A gentleman's 18ct gold 'Ellipse' automatic wristwatch with sunburst brown cushion-shaped dial 34mm long x 29 mm wide with baton markers and date aperture, the movement stamped 1305427 28-255c Adjusted to (5)Five pos heat cold isochronism 36 Thirty six jewels, the rotating weight stamped 'Patek Philippe Geneva', in a case with Swiss control marks and stamped 'Patek Philippe Geneva 3605 2774455, on a dark reddish brown strap with buckle stamped '750 Patek Philippe PP Co'. in fitted case, together with 'Extract from the Archives' of 'Patek Philippe' confirming the original date of sale to be October 4th 1978.

Sale: FS30 (19 Apr 2016)
Auction Lot: 0111
Estimate: £3,500-£4,000
Realised: £3,600
Patek Philippe. A gentleman's 18ct gold 'Ellipse' automatic wristwatch with sunburst brown cushion-shaped dial 34mm long x 29 mm wide with baton markers and date aperture, the movement stamped 1305427 ...

Sale FS31; Lot: 0369: Richard Eurich O BE, RA [1903-1992] - The Cod and Lobster, Staithes - signed R Eurich and dated 1934 bottom right also inscribed in pencil on the stretcher oil on canvas 40.5 x 50.5cm *Exhibited. Royal Albert Memorial Museum 1960.

Sale: FS31 (12 Jul 2016)
Auction Lot: 0369
Estimate: £4,000-£6,000
Realised: £8,300
Richard Eurich O BE, RA [1903-1992] - The Cod and Lobster, Staithes - signed R Eurich and dated 1934 bottom right also inscribed in pencil on the stretcher oil on ...