The June 22 auction in North Yorkshire, which together with a Modern Interiors Sale achieved a hammer total of just over £350,000, was led by a typical Welsh view by Kyffin Williams (1918-2006).
Gwastadnant, one of several paintings of the hamlet in Caernarfonshire, was exhibited at The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1993. Depicting a farmer with his trusted sheepdog, it was executed in the bold impasto strokes and subdued colour palette of black, greys, browns and olive greens that collectors look for in the Welshman’s work.
Guided at an attractive £5000-8000, the 19 x 23in (49 x 59cm) oil on canvas was eventually knocked down for £29,000 to a private buyer in the north of England.
The artist’s current auction record stands at £60,000 paid for Fox Shoot, a dynamic scene of men with dogs descending from a mountain top, which sold in 2016 at Rogers Jones in Cardiff.
Another private bidder from the north secured ‘pitman painter’ Norman Cornish’s (1919-2014) Street Scene With Tanky Engine. The 2ft x 2ft 11in (62 x 90cm) oil on board shows children playing in the snow in Bishops’ Close Street, Spennymoor, the working-class street in which Cornish grew up and started married life.
The painting came with provenance from the artist’s family, helping it achieve a top-estimate price of £15,000.
Elsewhere, a bid of £5000 secured The Right to Roam for the Sake of Art by Peter Brook (1927-2009), an artist whose bleak northern landscapes are selling well on the secondary market, while another instalment of Grosvenor School linocuts from the estate of artist Edith Lawrence (1890-1973) drew decent bidding.
Lawrence’s well-known Cricket linocut sold above top estimate for £6500 – an upper end price for this print at auction – and The Quartette by artist Dorrit Black (1891-1951), numbered 3/50, also tipped over top estimate to sell for £5500.
Dulwich Picture Gallery in south London is holding its first major show of work from the Grosvenor School until September 8.
The buyer’s premium at Tennants was 20%.