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Modern & Contemporary Art Sale: Results June 2021

21st June 2021.

Tennants Modern and Contemporary Art Sale on Saturday 19th June saw strong prices for British Art with Mary Fedden’s ‘Redcliffe Road’ topping the sale and achieving a hammer price of £17,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £6,000-8,000.  The painting depicts a still life of a jug of flowers and pottery zebra sitting on a windowsill and was previously exhibited at the Royal West of England Academy.

The floral theme continued to prove popular with buyers and two still lifes by Dorothea Sharp, known for her naturalistic studies of children and landscapes performed well above estimate. Her ‘Still life of Summer flowers in a white glazed jug’ and ‘Dahlias in a vase’ were both offered with an estimate of £5,000-8,000 apiece, and made £9,500 and £5,000 respectively.  A limited-edition lithograph by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder of ‘Arum Lilies’ made £1,300 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £500-700.

Leeds artist Joash Woodrow lead the way for Northern Art which performed strongly across the board and a painting of his brother “Portrait of Saul Woodrow” achieved a hammer price of £11,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £5,000-7,000.  Woodrow was reclusive and painted just for himself. His work, which comprised some 700 paintings and 3,000 drawings was discovered by his brother following a fire at the artist’s house and the portrait lead a trio of paintings in the sale.  

 ‘Man Thinning Turnips’ by the much-loved Cumbrian artist Sheila Fell performed well above the estimate of £2,500-4,000 to achieve £7,500 (plus buyer’s premium).  The subject matter, very characteristic of the artist, depicts two figures toiling in an open landscape. The figures’ stance and earthy tones cause them to become part of the landscape itself. Fell had an almost unique ability to convey the emotion inherent in a landscape; not just the landscape itself, but the impact it has on you.

Two works by Northern Artist Joe Scarborough both created enthusiastic bidding and ‘Hancock Crescent Gardens’ made £7,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,000-2,000 whilst ‘Norfolk Arms’ achieved £5,000(plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £800-1,200.  This smashes the previous world record for the artist of £4,000 which was achieved at Tennants back in 2012.

Bob Dylan’s ‘The Drawn Blank Series’ of eight giclee prints made in 2014 achieved £12,000 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £7,000-10,000. Bob Dylan, who has just celebrated his 80th birthday, made his first foray into art publishing with his ‘Drawn Blank Series’ in 2008, in which he reimagined sketches he made whilst touring America, Europe and Asia between 1989 and 1992.

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £161,700 for 116 lots, with an impressive 90% sold rate.


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