The 440 lots – acquired since the 1960s by a farmer’s wife from north Cumbria – are expected to realise up to £400,000.
The late Barbara Holliday’s taste was more cosmopolitan than that of many of her peers. While her husband ran the adjacent farms, she focused on her two great passions: the garden and the interiors of The Gale, a handsome Victorian house in the hamlet of Highlaws near the Solway Coast.
As well as regular trips to auctions in the provinces and London she immersed herself in the contemporary British art scene, befriending and corresponding with a group of noted painters and sculptors.
Nine Sheila Fells
Holliday particularly enjoyed buying direct from artists. She first met local artist Sheila Fell in the late 1960s – nine oils include Allonby, Approaching High Tide signed and dated 1965, estimated at £8000- 12,000 – while she acquired many paintings and sketches by Olwyn Bowey and Carel Weight, who both became close family friends.
She met and bought works by significant Royal Academicians of the late 20th century – Elizabeth Frink, Jacob Epstein, Mary Fedden and Eduardo Paolozzi.
The sale also includes Holliday’s antique furniture and chattels plus her Georgian and Victorian jewellery.