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Modern & Contemporary Art Sale Results: October 2021

13th October 2021.

A delicate watercolour painting by one of Scotland’s most loved artists, Elizabeth Blackadder, sold for £18,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ Modern and Contemporary Art Sale on 9th October. ‘Flower Studies’ was commissioned by the then Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond for his 2012 charitable Christmas card to mark the Year of Natural Scotland. Blackadder, who died only weeks ago, was best known for her delicate, beautifully observed flower paintings and her place as the first woman to be elected to both the Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy.

Northern Art sold strongly throughout the sale, topped by ‘Come Back’ by Brian ‘Braaq’ Shields. Depicting the moment a young boy, representing ‘Braaq’, runs across a cricket match set against a brooding industrial city-scape, the painting sold for £15,000. By the same artist and selling well at £7,500 against an estimate of £3,000-5,000 was a pair of pencil drawings ‘Young Boy with a Dog’ (self-portrait as a boy) and ‘Young Boy and Girl’ (self-portrait as a boy with his sister?). Further paintings of note included Mary Fedden’s ‘"Fruit", Still Life with Grapes, Pears and Cherries’ that sold for £7,500, and David Shepherd’s ‘Cool Tiger’ that also sold for £7,500.

An interesting selection of ceramics in the sale saw good prices, with the top lot being Pablo Picasso’s ‘Centaure’ of 1956 that sold for £10,000. Picasso began making ceramics after becoming acquainted with potters in the South of France. He initially saw the craft as a summer respite from the more strenuous work of painting, but he would go on to design over 633 ceramic editions between 1947 and 1971. Picasso’s ceramics are highly creative and often playful. Also selling well were three plates by Jean Cocteau, the top lot of which, ‘Trois Faces aux Triangles’ sold for £7,500. Like Picasso, Cocteau was deeply inspired by mythology, particularly Greek legends.

Finally, a good offering of prints included buoyant results for the likes of ‘Britain at Play’ after L.S. Lowry (sold for £6,500), ‘Railtrack’, a set of four giclee prints from the “Drawn Blank Series” by Bob Dylan (sold for £7,000), and a set of three variations of the ‘Green Man’ screenprint by Elisabeth Frink (sold for £5,000).

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £243,620 for 238 lots, with an 85% sold rate.

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