In what has become a familiar sight at the North Yorkshire saleroom over the past two years, the March 17 auction included a selection of 1930s linocut prints from the Grosvenor School.
These popular middle-range prints were owned by Grosvenor artist Edith Lawrence (1890-1973) and came to Tennants via her family.
After an initial single-owner sale dispersed a quarter of the collection in 2016, the remainder, which include multiples of the same prints, has been drip-fed onto the market since then.
The financial star at a multi-estimate £13,000 was an exceptionally well-preserved 10 x 12in (25 x 30.5cm) linocut called Corner of the Garden by Australian artist Dorrit Black (1891-1951). Made in an edition of 50, it drew strong interest from Australia. The price looks to be the highest achieved from the series at auction to date – better than the £8500 fetched by another well-preserved example from the Lawrence collection at Tennants last year.
Another Black linocut, The Quartet, sold for £11,500 against an estimate of £2000-3000. A version of this print proved exceptionally popular at Sydney auction house Deutscher and Hackett where a further example, numbered 1/50, sold for a premium-inclusive Aus$48,800 (around £30,120) in September last year.
A linocut of Edith Lawrence’s Cricket, the fourth to pass through the saleroom since 2013, sold for £6200 – a routine price for this print.
Among the Northern artists on offer was a selection of paintings of the rugged North Yorkshire coast by the Impressionist-inspired Staithes Group. Works of particular appeal included an expansive coastal view by Mark Senior (1862-1927), probably depicting Runswick Bay to the south of Staithes, which sold on top estimate for £15,000.
A charcoal portrait profile of the young pianist Ethel Bartlett by Laura Knight (1877-1970) sold for more than three times the top guide at £3500.
The 13 x 9in (33 x 23cm) charcoal drawing, dated 1923, may well have been a preparatory sketch for a painting of Bartlett that Knight exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1926 and is now in the Atkinson Art Museum in Southport.
Attracting greater competition, however, was a portrait of Knight herself, painted in oils by her less famous husband Harold Knight (1874-1961).
The 20 x 15in (50 x 39cm) work sold for double the top guide at £8000. A second portrait by Harold of the English jeweller Ella Naper (1886-1972) took £6000 – five times the estimate.
Works from another pioneering 20th century set of artists, the Bloomsbury Group, were led by a lightfilled still-life by Dorothea Sharp (1874-1955) which ticked all the boxes to sell for £13,000.
The runaway star of the sale was a typical mixedmedia painting by Scottish artist Joan Eardley (1921-63) titled Girl with a Poke of Chips, which sold for nearly three times the top guide at £87,000.