Two world records set in Modern & Contemporary Art Sale

Two new world records were set at Tennants’ auction of Modern and Contemporary Art on 26th May for works by Cecil Rochfort D’Oyly John and John Ridgewell.

The first record was produced by the top lot in the sale ‘Night fisherman at St Tropez, South of France’ by Cecil Rochfort D’Oyly John (1906-1993), who was known for his idealised sun-drenched views of the Mediterranean. After considerable interest from both national and international bidders, the picture was sold for a hammer price of £3,900 against an estimate of £300-500. A second work by the artist, ‘Village of Mentone, near Montecarlo’ was in demand too, topping the £500-800 estimate to reach £1,400.

The second record was set for ‘Still life with wild flowers on a ledge before a surreal background’, by John Ridgewell (1937-2004), which sold for £1,400 against an estimate of £200-300. This work was one of a number by Ridgewell that sold strongly in the sale, all of which were being sold by the estate of the artist. Ridgewell was born in Essex, but after studying at Colchester School of Art and The Royal College of Art, he took a teaching position at Scarborough School of Art in 1961. It was during his time in Yorkshire, living near Scarborough, that Ridgewell developed his personal and distinctive style; delicate, subtle, meticulous water-colour like paintings, that combine landscape and naturalistic touches with a hint of the surreal.

Works from two other artist’s estates also generated much interest, and strong prices were achieved for works from the estate of William Norman Gaunt and Edith Lawrence, a key member of the Grosvenor School of Art. Elsewhere in the sale, strong prices for prints for Henry Moore showed a continued demand for works by this iconic Yorkshire artist. ‘Sheep Heads’ and ‘Sheep Standing’ sold respectively for £1,000 and £600.

The sale resulted in a total Hammer Price of £49,480, with 87% of the 171 lots sold.

We are currently accepting lots for the next sale of Modern & Contemporary Art on 28th October, please contact us on 01969 623780 or enquiry@tennants-ltd.co.uk for details.



‘Night fisherman at St Tropez, South of France’ by Cecil Rochfort D’Oyly John (1906-1993)
Sold for £3,900

‘Still life with wild flowers on a ledge before a surreal background’, by John Ridgewell (1937-2004)
Sold for £1,400