The 8in x 7in (20 x 17cm) pen and ink drawing of an elegant Art Nouveau figure titled The Rose Tree was part of a 12-lot group of King’s illustrations and jewellery designed for Liberty. Created with precise and detailed pen and ink illustrations on vellum, it was indicative of her early period work and sold to a UK phone bidder within estimate at £4200.
It is possible inspiration for the work came from Laurence Hausman’s book The Field of Clover, which tells the story of Princess Melilot who was turned into a rose tree. A drawing King made in c.1916-17, titled Princess Melilot, is in the collection of the National Galleries of Scotland.
In January, London saleroom Forum Auctions sold an unusually large early vellum drawing, The Lament, for £13,000.
Arts & Crafts collaboration
Strong bidding also emerged for an Arts & Crafts collaborative panel between Frank Lynn Jenkins (1870-1927) and Gerald Moira (1867-1959), who together developed an innovative style of painted low relief plaster panels that they used in a commission from the restaurateur Joe Lyons to decorate the entrance to the Trocadero Restaurant in London’s West End.
The 2ft 6in x 3ft 6in (75cm x 1.07m) plaster mural at L&T was painted in gilt and colours and sculpted in relief with a country road marked with a cross and bearing the inscription SONNET BY CHRISTINA ROSETTI. Estimated at £800-1200, it sold to an internet bidder for £3600.
Jenkins and Moira produced a series of panels, identical in design to this mural, for the library of a home at Bishop Burton near Beverley in 1898.
The 17 painted reliefs illustrated poems by English and American poets from Shakespeare and Herrick through to Longfellow, Tennyson and Swinburne
Two Bishop Burton panels were offered in the collection of the Victorian art dealer Neil Wilson at Christie’s South Kensington in September 2014. Ophelia sold for £2250 (with fees) while the other, The Passing of Arthur, was unsold against a £2000-3000 guide.
Among the sculpture at L&T, a small relief of a head by the renowned Czech Cubist Emil Filla (1882-1953) drew bidding from overseas. The 12in (31cm) high bronze sold to an internet bidder for £7000 against an estimate of £400-600.
Dated to 1913, this early Cubist work was made in reaction to Pablo Picasso’s 1909 sculpture of his companion Fernande Olivier.