These so called ‘tinsel’ pictures were made by creating a mirror image of the subject outlined in ink, which was then filled with colourful opaque paints and backed with flattened foils. An Oriental technique made popular by the Victorians, it gives pictures a pearlescent quality.
Carrington initially produced them as gifts for friends before making a good income selling the works through Piccadilly department store Fortnum & Mason for between 35 shillings and £2.
Rouen Ware, a c.1925 10 x 7½in (26 x 19cm) glass work, made using oil, ink and silver foil, featured in a 1300-lot sale at Norfolk auction house Keys (20% buyer’s premium) on March 22.
Exhibited at Carrington’s retrospective exhibition at the Barbican Art Gallery in London in 1995, it took £13,200 against an appealing £4000-6000 estimate.
Other examples by Carrington have sold for similar sums on the secondary market. A larger flower still-life from 1928 sold at Christie’s King Street in 2003 for £17,000 (before selling again at Sotheby’s a decade later for £10,000), while a jug of Carrington’s favourite flowers, tulips, sold in March 2011, at Christie’s South Kensington for £11,250 against a £10,000-15,000 guide.