Running to over 420 lots, the latest offering takes place in Cardiff on May 13, and features the usual roll-call of 20th century Welsh artists including Kyffin Williams, Frank Brangwyn, Ceri Richards and Donald McIntyre. Welsh contemporary art – an area on the rise – is represented in the sale by the likes of John Knapp-Fisher and David Tress.
Auctioneer Ben Rogers Jones has seen plenty of change in the Welsh art market since it was first established 30 years ago; “Over the last two decades, interest in Welsh art has come as much from across the Severn Bridge as it has in Wales.” This, he says, correlates with the rise of holiday cottages and “up-market” Welsh tourism, which has driven demand for the country’s art.
The scarcest entries to the May sale are a pair of unrecorded prints by Brangwyn (1867-1956).
Labour and The Pool derive from a short series of etchings relating to the River Thames published by Franz Hanfstängl. They are offered with correspondence between the artist and vendor, in which Brangwyn describes them as “unique” and having “no proofs myself of these subjects”. Featuring dock-working figures, they measure around 22in x 2ft 8in (57 x 80cm) each and are offered together at £1500-2500.
Among the 80 lots of Welsh pottery are 13 pieces of Nantgarw and Swansea consigned from Welsh descendants living in upstate New York. Returning to Wales “after a huge lapse of time”, the group ranges from £50-700.