£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.
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
portrait of Augustus John by Percy Wyndam Lewis. An interesting
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.
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) realised ££4,900.
The Garden of Cyrus (FS32/336) by John Northcote Nash (1893-1977) went under the
hammer for £4,000.
- 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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