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Modern & Contemporary Art Sales: Results

1st March 2022.

A weekend of 20th Century art sales at Tennants Auctioneers proved exceptionally popular, with the packed salerooms buzzing and a raft of enthusiastic online and telephone bidders resulting in strong prices across the board. Comprising the Modern and Contemporary Art Sale and a single owner sale Line, Colour & Form: A Private Collection, the two sales realised a total hammer price of £249,040, and a healthy 94% sold rate. 

The single owner sale, Line, Colour & Form saw 125 lots of mid-late 20th century paintings, prints, ceramics and sculpture, thoughtfully put together over the course of thirty years by collectors in the North East of England. The top lot of the sale, selling for £12,500 (plus buyer’s premium), was “Vacances en France” by Spanish artist Carlos Nadal (1917-1998), a painter in the Fauvist manner who was captivated by the light and colour of the Mediterranean. A smaller beach scene by the artist, “Plage” also sold well at £4,500.

A lithograph by David Hockney (b.1937) of Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy beat it’s £6,000-8,000 estimate to sell for £9,000. Christopher Isherwood was an English writer best known for his semi-autobiographical novel ‘Goodbye to Berlin’ on which the musical Cabaret was based. He met his partner of over thirty years, American artist Don Bachardy, in 1952, and the pair broke convention to live together as an openly gay couple in an era when their hometown of Hollywood was deeply closeted. Also of note was “Fun Day no.3” by Wilhemina Barnes-Graham (1912-2004), which sold for £3,000. The three-dimensional works in the collection were led by “Girl on a Swing” by Sydney Harpley (1927-1992), which sold for £7,000, and ‘Blue double-twisted loop’ by Merete Rasmussen (b.1974), which sold for £2,200. 

Topping the Modern & Contemporary Art Sale, which also took place on 26th February, was a linocut by Grosvenor School artist Edith Lawrence. With provenance from the artist’s estate, ‘Cricket’ sold for £7,500. Also selling well at £6,000 was “Scarlet Ibises” by the renowned wildlife artist and illustrator Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe (1901-1979). Further highlights included “I-S d, Yellow Squares” by Josef Albers (1888-1976). Made in 1969, the screenprint came with provenance from Alan Cristea Gallery in London and sold for £4,000. Works by Ken Howard (b.1932) attracted good levels of interest, such as his “Sennen Beach” that sold for £2,000, as did works by Scottish artist Barbara Rae (b.1943), such as “"Spanish Landscape/Lecrin Hillside" that sold for £3,000.

Northern Art continues to attract strong prices at Tennants, with solid results achieved across the board for Lowry prints, and works by Pennine artist Peter Brook, who’s "Pennine Sheep Farm 1683-1973", “Winter Monday” and “Autumn” all sold for £4,200 apiece. Further notable lots of Northern Art included those by Leeds artist Stuart Walton (b.1933) including "Glasshouton Colliery", which sold for £2,600, and “Street with Horse and Cart” by Norman Cornish (1919-2014), which sold for £5,000.

The two sales achieved a total hammer price of £249,040 for the 286 lots, and a 94% sold rate.


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