Dark waves and moon by Maggi Hambling – £3700 at Rogers Jones.

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The Cardiff sale on April 17 had been postponed from March 27.

This mixed category of Selections & Collections offered a smattering of paintings, watercolours and drawings among 150 lots.

The Hambling works were all oil paintings from the same source which were either on board or canvas. They all sold to five different buyers – all collectors except one that went to the trade – making a combined £12,100 with the majority selling above estimate.

Swirling style

The top price came for Dark waves and moon, a 10 x 11¾in (25 x 30cm) oil on canvas with swirling layers of paint that were highly recognisable of the artist’s later style.

Indeed, the North Sea off the Suffolk coast has been the dominant subject in her oeuvre since 2002, with views of the sea and moon being a favoured subject.

“Early each morning I go down to the sea and try to capture its mood by drawing, and each day is different,” she said. “Back in the studio, these drawings become paintings. Whether they are tiny or cover the studio wall, I try to make the movement of the waves happen in the paint.”

Although at auction larger paintings by the artist tend to sell for more – a work from 2008-9 of a similar subject and colours, but over double the size, sold for £11,000 at Lyon & Turnbull in March 2019 – this work in Cardiff was deemed an attractive proposition against a £2000-3000 estimate.

It brought solid interest from a number of parties before it was knocked down to a collector in London at £3700 via, a decent sum per square inch and the highest price among the pictures at the auction.

While an even smaller oil on panel titled Storm wave went above a £1000- 1500 estimate, selling at £1600, a couple of works at Rogers Jones had another of Hambling’s favourite subjects: birds.


Macaws by Maggie Hambling – £1400 at Rogers Jones.

A small painting of a hunting owl went for an above-estimate £850 while a slightly larger depiction of two macaws also drew bidders’ attention. The 9¾ x 8in (25 x 20cm) oil on canvas was a colourful and spontaneous study which helped it sell for £1400 against a £1000- 1500 pitch.

Evening highlight


Evening Light, Buttermere by William Heaton Cooper – £1400 at Rogers Jones.

Elsewhere in the sale, a couple of works on paper also drew interest against reasonable estimates. Evening Light, Buttermere was a vintage watercolour of the Lake District by William Heaton Cooper (1903-95).

Measuring 19in x 2ft 3in (48 x 68cm), it was signed and in good condition despite some mild discolouration to the paper above the mountain. Estimated at £800-1200, it sold at £1400 – a mid-range sum for the artist at auction.

One print that caught the eye was an LS Lowry (1887-1976) work titled St Mary’s, Beswick. It measured 13½ x 18in (34 x 46cm) and was based on one of the Salford artist’s pencil drawings. One of 500 from a blind-stamped limited edition published by Henry Donn Gallery, the artist had signed it in pencil.

With no apparent condition issues, it overshot a £1000-1500 estimate and was knocked down at £2800. Copies of the same print have made almost identical prices in the last year at David Duggleby in Scarborough and Warrington & Northwich Auctions.