Sir Cedric Morris
A new auction record was set for modern British painter Sir Cedric Morris (1889-1982) at Chichester’s Henry Adams for this ‘Wild Flowers’.

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The auction on April 13 comes almost exactly a year on from when the previous record was set in the same West Sussex auction house.

Signed and dated '23, the painting topped the previous saleroom high for the self-taught artist set in April 2016 when the auction house sold Summer Garden Flowers at £81,000.

Wild Flowers came to the auction from a local family that had inherited the painting from a grandparent with memories of it hanging in their Sussex home in the 1960s. There was also evidence that it had once been hung in the historic Sussex house Broyle Place.

The family were in the saleroom when it sold and, after bids from five telephone lines, the painting was hammered down to one of these telephone bidders at more than double its high estimate of £50,000.

Henry Adams’ director Andrew Swain, said: “This painting had lovely provenance and the owners’ jaws dropped when the bids came in.

“This is great result for us as we are just a small auction house. We held the record last year and it would be wonderful if we could repeat this every spring!”

"Greatest British flower painter"

One of the under bidders, London dealer Philip Mould, said: “Sir Cedric Morris was undoubtedly the greatest British flower painter of the 20th century. However since Lucian Freud’s death there has been a greater appraisal of his artistic impact and he has emerged as an increasingly influential and original painter and teacher. Freud owed a large debt to him both technically and in his early characterisations of people and nature.

“Morris rewards the general collector - he convincingly covered every genre, and in styles ranging from the avant garde to the rivetingly naturalistic.”

Mould also pointed out that a number of exhibitions are currently planned about the Welsh artist and horticulturalist and he has grown in popularity since the sale of his works at Sotheby’s David Bowie sale in November 2016.