Barnaby Lawrence had been only vaguely aware of the number, scope and value of the works passed down from his great aunt. However the sale of more than 80 works that will be offered on July 23 is only a third of the total collection he presented to Tennants in 2015.
“The family admire Edith so much as an artist,” said Francesca Young of Tennants’ picture department. “The monetary value is not really of concern to them. It’s more about raising the profile of the artist.”
The estimate for the sale is £68,000-104,000.
Barnaby contacted Tennants after one of Edith’s 1925 linocuts, Cricket, went for £8500 from the auction house in November 2013.
The collection comprises of work by Grosvenor School artists including Lill Tschudi (1911-2004), Dorrit Black (1891-1951) and co-head of the Grosvenor School of Modern Art Claude Flight (1881-1955).
Barnaby had thought that the family owned only a small collection of Edith’s watercolours when he went to search for them. Many have never been seen before and have been kept stored in folders.
“It’s nice that all these works will be sold together and highlight Edith’s career,” Young added. “She’s not particularly written about or known about and this could help to raise her profile.”
The Grosvenor School ran from 1925-1940 and is known for reviving interest in printmaking, particularly the linocut. Among some of the featured lots will be lino printing blocks rescued from Flight’s studio after it was bombed.