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Results: Modern & Contemporary Art June 2024

18th June 2024.

“Woman with a Sewing Machine”, a rare early lithograph made by a 17-year-old David Hockney, sold in the Modern and Contemporary Art Sale at Tennants Auctioneers on 15th June for £10,000 (all figures plus buyer’s premium). The lithograph, which is one of approximately five proof versions of this unpublished print, was sold by the descendants of Hockney’s school friend and fellow artist David George Fawcett (1935-1973). One of the other proof copies is held in the collection of the Tate. The image reflects the exuberance of the artist aged just 17, filled with possibilities and the joy of being allowed to spend his days at college exploring the world of art, and was modelled on his mother, Laura.

Selling well above pre-sale expectations was “Red Serpentine” by Alexander Mackenzie, which sold for £7,500. Mackenzie, who died in 2002, was a British abstract artist who rose to prominence as a member of the post-war generation of modernists working in St Ives, alongside the likes of Barbara Hepworth, Ben Nicholson and Patrick Heron. He moved to Cornwall after leaving the Liverpool College of Art, and exhibited regularly from 1959 whilst forging a teaching career at the Plymouth College of Art.


A small collection of four works by mining artist Tom McGuinness, who, over the course of his career, created an extraordinary and highly personal artistic record of the life of a miner in the North East. The pictures, which belonged to his lifelong friend Sidney Lockey, sold for a total hammer price of £6,350. McGuinness and Lockey first met at school in Witton Park, and decades later Lockey often visited McGuinness in his studio, watching him paint as they put the world to rights, and occasionally making an offer on a painting while it was still on the easel. He was an early supporter of his friend’s work, which he continued to collect throughout his life, cherishing every piece. The pair kept in regular touch until the Lockey died a year before McGuinness. Highlights of the collection included “Pipe Men”, an oil painting of 1965 (sold for £3,200), and a mixed media preparatory sketch for the same work (sold for £1,600).

The first instalment of works from the Estate of Pat Maclaurin sold well throughout. Maclaurin was born in New Zealand but established her artistic career following a move to London, where she was to exhibit regularly with the Pastel Society and Royal Institute of Oil Painters, the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions, the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, the New English Art Club and the Society of Women Artists. The participation in these exhibitions led to Pat’s friendships with artists including Diana Armfield, Bernard Dunstan, Mary Jackson, and her husband Tom Coates, who became a particular friend and mentor. Highlights of the collection included Fred Cuming’s “Bathers at Arachon III”, which sold for £1,500. Part II of the collection will be offered in the October Modern & Contemporary Art Sale at Tennants.

Notable results were also achieved for “Woman with a Striped Neck” by Joash Woodrow (sold for £5,000), “Summer’s Beauty” by Marcel Dyf (sold for £7,000), “Wensleydale from near Spennithorne” by Anne Isabella Brooke (sold for £3,800), “Phoenix”, a bronze by Theresia van der Pant (sold for £1,700), and “Jeanette”, a charming portrait by Philip Naviasky (sold for £2,200). Amongst the contemporary British works were Damien Hirst’s “Theodora H10-3” from his 2022 Empresses Series, which sold for £2,500, and “Go Forward” by Tracey Emin that was included in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, which sold for £1,600.


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