News & Insights

Modern & Contemporary Art and Modern Living: Art & Design

4th March 2019.

The market for Northern Art and Yorkshire furniture proved buoyant in Tennants Auctioneers’ Modern Sales on 2nd March, with bidders eagerly competing over the top lots by artists and makers such as L.S. Lowry, Brian Shields (Braaq), Peter Brook and Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson – resulting in a combined total hammer price for the two sales of £311,760.

The top lot of the sale was ‘Fairground’ by Brian Shields (Braaq), which sold for £11,500 (plus buyer’s premium). Known for his paintings of industrial scenes in Northern Britain, Braaq is one of the most successful of the artists inspired by L.S. Lowry and his matchstick men. By the same artist ‘The Boat Lake’ sold for £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium).

A selection of works by the much-loved Pennine artist Peter Brook sold well above estimate, with the top lots being ‘Three Worried Sheep’, which sold for £5,800 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £2,000-3,000, ‘Early One Morning in May, which sold for £5,500 (plus buyer’s premium), and ‘Dogs Must be Kept on a Lead’, which sold for £4,800 (plus buyer’s premium). Limited edition signed colour prints after L.S. Lowry continue to perform strongly, with ‘Berwick upon Tweed’, published by the Fine Art Trade Guild, selling for £4,500 (plus buyer’s premium), and good prices were seen for other Northern artists such as Arthur Delaney, Norman Cornish and Sally Arnup. Elsewhere in the Modern and Contemporary Art Sale, a collection of etchings by Robin Tanner sold confidently, the top lot being ‘Christmas’, which sold for £1,800 (plus buyer’s premium). A colourful depiction of ‘Market Day’ by French artist Louis Floutier sold well for £4,800 (plus buyer’s premium), and ‘Sunflowers, Romanil near St Remy de Provence’ by Frederick Gore sold for £4,500 (plus buyer’s premium).

The Modern Living: Art and Design Sale was dominated by a very strong selection of furniture made by Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson. With many pieces dating to the 1930s, the ‘Golden Age’ for the Yorkshire furniture maker, collectors fought over desirable pieces. The top lot was a panelled oak 4’ 9” sideboard, which sold for £6,800 (plus buyer’s premium), closely followed by a beautifully patinated chest of drawers, which sold for £6,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Also selling strongly was a carved oak sculpture of an Owl by Stan ‘Woodpeckerman’ Dodds, who worked in Robert Thompson’s workshop for over 50 years. Increasingly collectable, this fine example of a Woodpeckerman carving sold for £2,600 (plus buyer’s premium).

Also of note in the sale were a polychrome faience model of a cat, made circa 1900 by Émile Gallé, which sold for £3,300 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £1,000-1,500, and a 1970s segmented ‘Caterpillar’ sofa (£5,000 plus buyer’s premium), which had been purchased from Oscar Woollens, a cutting edge design store in Finchley, North London.

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