Modern British Art

Paintings, sculptures and prints made by 20th century British artists. Big names in this sector include Stanley Spencer, Paul Nash and LS Lowry.


Girl’s revealing tassel

23 October 2002

“Marvellously dotty” was how Peyton Skipwith of The Fine Art Society chose to describe this 14 by 12in (36 x 30cm) oil on panel by Rex Whistler (1905-1944). Entitled Miss Muffet, the panel depicts the moment when, sat upon her tuffet eating her curds and wey, a spider sits down beside the well-known nursery rhyme character.

Hepworth doubles hopes

23 October 2002

Over the last 10 to 15 years, the market has undergone a slow but steady shift towards 20th century painting in particular the Post-War abstraction of the St Ives school whose geometric shapes and pure blocks of colour are wholly in tune with contemporary tastes.

For Lowry on a budget – Delaney

08 October 2002

For those who can’t afford paintings by L.S. Lowry, the Manchester townscapes of Arthur Delaney (1927-87 appear to be becoming an increasingly popular substitute.

Annigoni’s majestic appeal goes worldwide

03 October 2002

THE Italian painter Pietro Annigoni (1910-1988) is forever associated in English minds with his dramatic 1955 portrait of The Queen, which now hangs in The National Portrait Gallery and which still has plenty of admirers, including HM herself.

A Sharp reminder of quality sparks £41,000 bids battle

23 September 2002

Quality paintings have been extremely thin on the ground in the provinces in the last few weeks, but this Dorothea Sharp (1874-1955) oil did at least create a stir at the Leominster rooms of Brightwells (15% buyer’s premium) on August 29 when it climbed to £41,000 against an estimate of £3000-5000.

Mellon’s appeal grows wider

10 September 2002

It wasn’t until Campbell Archibald Mellon (1876-1955) retired from business at the end of the First World War that he devoted himself to painting. He moved to Gorleston-on-Sea in Norfolk and the bulk of his artistic output is focused on the beaches and holidaymakers in the area.

American collector catches his £9800 Wave after 30-year wait

14 August 2002

CONDITION is a prime concern in the 20th century print market but occasionally images come on the market that are so rare and so striking that condition concerns take a lower priority – particularly if the buyer has been searching for such a piece for 30 years.

Mackintosh, cloak and dagger…

25 July 2002

Artists at Walberswick: East Anglian Interludes 1880-2000 by Richard Scott, published by Art Dictionaries Ltd. ISBN 0953260941 £29.95hb

Going Shell, going well over hopes

24 July 2002

SINCE the 1920s, Shell have commissioned paintings from key British artists for Shell county guides, calendars and school wall charts. In order to raise funds to create a new exhibition space in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu for the earlier works from the company’s collection, Shell decided to sell 193 lots dating from 1950-1990, most of which had never been seen in public before, at Sotheby’s Olympia (17.5% buyer’s premium) on July 4.

Lavery’s lucky touch wins again...

15 May 2002

Sir John Lavery R.A. (1856-1941) is one of the hottest names in the booming Irish picture market and back in 1998 The Bridge at Grez, a large oil on canvas, took a record £1.3m at Christie’s London.

...modern Irish

03 May 2002

THE strength of the Irish picture market will be tested in May when Sotheby’s and Christie’s hold their annual Irish sales in London. Recent sales in Ireland indicate things look promising, and that interest is still strong Stateside was confirmed at Dennis Auction Service (10% buyer’s premium) in Stewartsville, New Jersey on March 9 sale when this early work, right, by Jack Butler Yeats (1871-1957) came up for auction.

Artist suffers third raid in five weeks

02 May 2002

ROBERT Lenkiewicz, one of Britain’s most controversial artists, has been burgled for the third time in five weeks in what is widely believed to be a ‘stolen to order’ theft.

The coming woman – and one to watch out for

17 April 2002

THE names of two women artists, one very well known, the other undeservedly obscure, provided talking points at two provincial sales in March.

Staithes Group casting their net

07 March 2002

THE Staithes Group, the band of artists who made the North Yorkshire fishing village their home before some moved to the South West and Newlyn, are the subject of an impressive exhibition put together by Cumbrian dealer Peter Haworth (Tel: 015395 62352).

Winifred’s winner

15 February 2002

Rise of Winifred Nicholson goes on apace with amazing bid of £100,000 for portrait of Ben: Over the last two or three years Winifred Nicholson (1893-1981), the first wife of Ben Nicholson, has become an increasingly significant figure in the Modern British market, culminating in the record £52,000 paid last July at Phillips for one of her trademark window still lives.

The painter who just stayed in the farmyard

19 December 2001

Modern British in date, but blissfully unaffected by Fauvism, Cubism, Vorticism and just about every other ‘ism’ that was changing the face of Western art, Edgar Hunt (1876-1953) enjoys perennial popularity among picture buyers with more traditional tastes.

Modern British best on paper

05 December 2001

“There was a certain amount of watching. People were there to see what was happening, which was why it was slightly less active than last year, particularly for the nice, but less fashionable 19th century watercolours.”

Heron soars to £260,000

27 June 2001

UK: FOLLOWING on from the success of the International section of the Seeger Collection in New York last month, high quality and low estimates once again proved a winning combination for Sotheby’s (20/15/10 per cent buyer’s premium) when on June 14 they offered works by British artists collected by Stanley Seeger over the last 20 or so years.

Banking on a corporate collection

12 March 2001

British and German Art from 1960 to 2000, by Alistair Hicks, edited by Mary Findlay, Alistair Hicks and Friedhelm Hutte, published by Merrell Publishers in association with Deutsche Bank. ISBN 1858941180. £45.

Finders sellers as Lowry from a routine house valuation brings £98,000

05 March 2001

UK: THE current strength of the market for anything by L.S. Lowry (1887-1976) has often been reported in these pages. On February 23 it was the turn of Chichester auctioneers Strides (15 per cent buyer’s premium) to experience the lure of the Salford-born artist when Old houses, the 15 by 19in (38 x 48cm) oil on plywood shown here, came under the hammer.

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