Published 23rd September 2023
By Lissy Tsigarides View profile
In the world of art, every brushstroke and contour tells a story. Our Picture Department is a vibrant tapestry, encompassing a diverse range of artistic expressions, from oil paintings, miniatures, watercolours, and drawings to engravings, etchings, and prints.
Among its remarkable achievements are the discovery of an undocumented portrait by Hogarth and two sketches by Constable. The department has achieved world record prices over the past three decades, including the astounding sale of a masterpiece by Swiss artist Wolfgang Adam Topffer for £410,000.
This year, we take great pride in introducing our new picture consultant, David Vyvyan-Robinson. David brings with him over 35 years of experience working with pictures, having previously been a dealer in London galleries on Bond Street and St James. His expertise spans various domains, including old master prints, topographical pieces, botanical illustrations, landscapes, portraits, and more. His journey even led him to Portugal, where he undertook the restoration of a historic house, deepening his understanding of Portuguese art. After returning to London, he joined a leading firm of art valuers and advisors specialising in Impressionism and major artworks.
David’s personal interests lean towards the topographical, pictures that capture and document local evolving landscapes before the era of the camera. These works, he explains, are not just artistic expressions; they are windows into history. Pictures find their way to eager buyers through our Fine Art Auctions (held quarterly) and the 20th Century & Contemporary auctions, (held biannually).
Acknowledging the surge in Contemporary art, David recognizes the prominence of multiples, prints, and the vibrant world of modern artists. In a recent 20th Century and Contemporary auction, a diverse array of artworks graced the rostrum, from David Hockney lithographs to Julian Trevelyan’s sun-drenched Spanish landscape achieving £9000.
As autumn approaches, Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood prepares for its upcoming Fine Art Auction on October 10th and 11th. This event will showcase more pictures alongside furniture, works of art and ceramics. This auction features a smaller version of John Rogers Herbert’s renowned painting “Sir Thomas More and his Daughter,” held in the Tate collection. This historic piece is estimated at £2000 - £3000*. Additionally, local charm is encapsulated in a watercolour depicting ‘Old Blundell’s School’ by Edward Ashworth, an English artist and architect from Devon. It’s an exquisite piece that beautifully reflects the architectural heritage of the West Country. You can easily browse all our catalogues online, and when it comes to bidding, you have several options, including telephone bids, commission bids, live internet bidding, or in-person participation at our Exeter saleroom.
(*buyer’s premium of 30% incl Vat)