The Russia-born French artist and designer used the human form in various poses and with props to create the letters for his alphabet.
These artworks, which Erté began in 1927, were later printed as a suite of limited edition prints in 1977. The editions are sought-after, especially when complete. In April 2009, Bonhams in Los Angeles sold a full set of Alphabet prints from an American edition of 350, published by Circle Fine Art in Chicago, for a premium-inclusive $17,080 (around £13,200).
The 2ft 1in x 19in (65 x 49cm) serigraphs appear to have come from the ‘English’ edition of 90, printed the same year in Paris and published by Circle Fine Art in collaboration with the Grosvenor Gallery.
Consigned from a local private vendor and described as in ‘pristine’ condition, the prints sold at £4400 against a £2000-3000 guide to a buyer in the room, against online and phone bids.
Henry Adams’ sale was led by a Cedric Morris (1889-1982) flower painting, which sold for a record £130,000. It replaces the previous auction high of £81,000 set in the same rooms a year ago.