Offered at Roseberys’ (25% buyer’s premium) latest Modern British & 20th Century art sale was a portrait study that fetched a record for work on paper at auction by Jessica Dismorr (1885-1939).
Depicting the poet George Barker as a young man, the 13¼ x 10in (34 x 25cm) pen, ink and grey wash from 1934 was part of a series of portrait drawings Dismorr made of writers at this time – others depicted Dylan Thomas and David Gascoyne.
It was typical of her style at this time and showed the influence of the likes of Wyndham Lewis and William Roberts, two other members of the Vorticist group with which she was exhibiting.
With her works having taken off commercially in the last few years – and this picture having appeared at the important 2019 exhibition Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and Her Contemporaries at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester – it drew strong interest against a £3000-5000 estimate at the auction on March 14.
It was eventually knocked down at £10,000 to a UK private collector.
Burleigh flower power
Another artist whose profile has risen significantly of late is Veronica Burleigh (1909-98). Two of her portraits posted the highest ever prices for the Sussex painter when they took £15,000 and £9000 at Kings Russell in January (see News in ATG No 2576).
Offered at Tayler & Fletcher (21% buyer’s premium) of Bourton-On-The-Water in Gloucestershire on April 15 was a botanical oil on canvas estimated at just £100-150.
Gardening subjects and flower studies form a key part of Burleigh’s oeuvre, although not too many examples have emerged at auction before. This 23¼x 19¼in (59 x 49cm) signed oil on canvas was deemed a well-conceived example with attractive details and colours.
After a strong competition, it was eventually knocked down at £4000 to an online buyer.