Strong prices seen for 20th Century Art and Antiques in Tennants Autumn Fine Art Sale

Modern and contemporary paintings put in a strong performance in Tennants Auctioneers’ Autumn Fine Art Sale on 18th November, with works by Northern artists in particular attracting the interest of bidders.

A number of works by Brian Shields ‘Bráaq’ (1951-1997), the Liverpool-born painter best known for his depictions of industrial scenes in Northern England, were included in the sale. The most striking work was an oil on canvas beach scene I’ve just seen my first pair of “tits”, which sold for £17,000. Two pairs of pencil and crayon studies of children sold well too, beating their £2,000-3,000 estimates to sell for £7,000 and £7,500.Works from Manchester were much in demand too, with a Harold Riley (b.1934 in Salford) entitled The Red Door selling for £13,000 against an estimate of £2,500-4,000. A tranche of cityscapes by Manchester artist Arthur Delaney (1927-1987) exceeded expectation too, the top lot being Tram Interchange, which sold for £4,800. Good provenance is key, and a group of works by Pennine artist Peter Brook (1927-2009) which came with provenance from the artist’s estate, sold strongly – the top lot being Two Listeners, which sold for £4,500.

A sun-filled scene of children gathering daisies by Dorothea Sharp (1874-1955) sold for £35,000 against an estimate of £10,000-15,000, and a work by Marcel Dyf (1899-1985), Potager au Ruault (Bretagne), sold for £9,000.

Also included in the sale were selected contents from Shortflatt Tower in Northumberland. Dating back to the mid-13th century, the traditional north-country fortified keep has been in the hands of the same family since the 18th century. Shortflatt Tower was home to one of Britain’s most renowned greyhound trainers and breeders. Edward Dent (d.1927), known as ‘Neddy’, was voted greatest greyhound trainer after he won the Waterloo Cup six times in eight years. An impressive painting of his two legendary coursing greyhounds, Fullerton and Bit of Fashion, by John Charlton (1849-1917) caught the eye of bidders, selling for £10,000, and a second painting by Charlton of Dent and Fullerton outside Shortflatt Tower sold for £6,000.

Notable sculptures included an imposing bronze by one of Yorkshire’s most renowned animal sculptors, Sally Arnup (1930-2015). The bronze is a powerful and naturalistic depiction of the head of Morris, a champion Swaledale ram. Arnup is known for her life-like and tactile bronzes that capture the spirit of her subject, and her work is becoming increasingly recognised. Morris sold for £4,500. Con Brio, an elegant cold painted bronze and ivory figure by Art Deco master Johann Philipp Ferdinand Preiss (1822-1943) sold for £11,000.

Elsewhere in the sale, the perennial Yorkshire favourite – Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson – was well represented, with nearly 100 lots of furniture and furnishings. Highlights included a 4’9” English Oak Sideboard that sold for £5,000, a 5’ English Oak Sideboard that sold for £4,800 and a English Oak Chests of Drawers that sold for £3,800.

Modern watches & jewellery achieved some notable results too, with a 2006 Fine 18ct Gold Wristwatch from Patek Philippe selling for £6,500 and c.2004 18ct Gold Cartier ‘Santos Dumont’ Wristwatch selling for £4,000. A diamond and ruby charm bracelet sold well too – featuring a mix of jewel-encrusted animals and horseshoes, the bracelet sold for £1,600.

The sale resulted in a total hammer price of £1,597,180 for the 965 lot sale.

Tennants are currently accepting lots for the Spring Fine Art Sale on 17th March 2018, please contact the Salerooms on 01969 623780 or for details.

Sally Arnup Morris – Sold for £4,500
(top left) Dorothea Sharp Gathering Daisies – Sold for £35,000