Forming part of the famous photographer’s The Book of Beauty, the sketches of glamorous women sold for sums from a few hundred pounds up to £1700.
However, a significantly higher price came for a Beaton watercolour sketch later in the summer at a Mallams (22.5% buyer’s premium) in Cheltenham. Here the subject was an elegant male figure.
At the auction on August 13, it was estimated at £300-500 but sold for £3000 to a US buyer bidding online.
Was the key to the value the label on the back? It was for London dealer Michael Parkin Fine Art giving the title as No.194 Male Dancer. It stated that the subject was from Frederick Ashton’s ballet Marguerite and Armand, performed by the Royal Ballet Company in 1963.
With the primo ballerino in this production being Rudolf Nureyev, did a connection to great Russian dancer cause a leap of its own in the price here?