Tennants Auctioneers’ Traditional Pictures Sale on 14th November saw a diverse and good quality range of works from the 17th century through to the early 20th century go under the hammer. The sale, which took place behind closed doors, saw exceptionally high levels of interest, outstanding prices throughout and achieved a 97% sold rate.
The top lot in the sale was a still life Attributed to Simon Pietersz. Verelst (1644-1710), which saw a frenzy of bidding before finally selling for a hammer price of £30,000 (plus buyer’s premium). A further 17th century Flemish Vanitas still life by the Circle of Clara Peeters (fl. 1609-1621) sold for £12,500 against an estimate of £2,500-4,000, demonstrating a strong appetite amongst buyers for works of this period and calibre. Two especially fine 20th century flower painting still lifes by Cecil Kennedy (1905-1997) also saw keen bidding and secured hammer prices of £3,800 and £8,500.
A selection of British and Continental 19th century marines attracted healthy levels of interest and vigorous bidding, most notably for ‘View of Mont Orgueil, Gorey Castle, Jersey’ by James Webb (1825-1895), which commanded a hammer price of £15,000 after a fierce competition. Other genre lots by the likes of Erskine Nichol, Arthur David McCormick, Thomas Falcon Marshall and Frank Moss Bennett showed healthy levels of interest and encouraging hammer prices, too.
Portraits were no less in demand, and highlights included a work described as Circle of George Stubbs, featuring a smart and assured gentleman, which made a final hammer price of £6,500 against an estimate of £300-500. The same sum was also achieved for a Circle of Sir Godfrey Kneller ‘Portrait of Peter Vanderbank’, who was an engraver.
Yorkshire artists were also well represented in the sale and performed strongly. Most notable were two works by Bertram Priestman (1868-1951); ‘A View of Buckden Bridge with haymaking beyond’ was an outstanding example of the artist’s work both in scale and execution and sold for £12,000. A smaller work depicting a tranquil river scene sold well, too, at £1,300. Two works by Staithes artist Mark Senior also created a stir; “On the Sands” sold for £4,200 and another work of an intimate scale, ‘A bit of Runswick’, secured a hammer price of £1,500. Paintings by Herbert Royle and William Mellor also well represented the county and continued to peak collectors’ interest.
Keen interest was seen for early and old master drawings, and there was a strong demand for 19th century watercolours, too. The striking and timeless image by Nicolaas Wilhelm Jungman (1872-1935) ‘A Haarlem Girl’ sold for £3,000. ‘Contemplation’, an early Staithes example by the celebrated and dexterous female artist Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) sold for £2,000, and a view of the ‘Lago d’ Iseo’ by Edward Lear (1812-1888) sold for £1,500. Two watercolours by Lake District artist William Heaton Cooper (1903-1995) attracted interest; ‘The Langdale Pikes’ sold for £3,500, and a rare Scottish view ‘The Road to Lochinvar’ sold for £1,600.
A Private Collection of works by the Scottish artist Alexander Jamieson performed well; highlights included the sun drenched ‘Market Square Corfu’ that sold for £1,900 and ‘Resting on a bench, Tuileries Garden’ that sold for £2,000. Another good collection of six lots by the British Post-Impressionist artist Harry Fidler also sold well above estimates with hammer prices ranging from £700 to £1,800.