A self-portrait by Denton Welch, sold with related material, £9500 at Dominic Winter.

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Offered at Dominic Winter (20% buyer’s premium), the coloured chalk on paper study dated from c.1935, around the time when Welch, still a student at Goldsmiths’ School of Art, suffered a life-changing incident when he was hit by a car when cycling.

The accident left him in permanent pain which dogged him throughout the rest of his short life and ultimately led to his early demise at the age of just 33.

Following the accident, Welch moved to the Kent countryside where his devoted housekeeper Evelyn (Evie) Sinclair helped him to continue to paint and write while he led an invalid’s life.

This 13½ x 10¾in (34 x 28cm) picture was offered at the March 8 auction in South Cerney, Gloucestershire, along with a small archive of related papers including a seven-page typed story by Welch, a cartoon sketch by the artist of a man with a bandage around his head lying in bed eating gruel saying ‘I don’t think I am sick’, and seven related photographs (four of Welch and three of Sinclair).

The estimate of £300-500 looked modest and, on the day, strong bidding emerged and the lot was bid to £9500.

That matches the result for Portrait with cat which sold at Roseberys in 2017 and both now stand at the top of the list when it comes to auction prices for Welch.

Rare Murphy


Head of a Young Man by Myles Murphy, £5800 at Dominic Winter.

Another lot flying well over a lowly prediction at Dominic Winter was Head of a Young Man by Myles Murphy (b.1927), an artist who studied and then later taught at the Slade.

Painting throughout his tenure, he became known for his figurative works.

Works by Murphy have seldom been offered on the market (no other results are recorded on Artprice), so this 23¼ x 18¼in (59 x 46cm) oil on board, which was somewhat faint in places, tested the water in effect.

In fact, it did rather well.Estimated at £300-500, it was knocked down at £5800 via