Tuesday 21 February 2023

Lot 109

Robert Race, b. 1943, Gymnast on bars, 1991, wood, painted wood, label for Robert Race to...

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Lot 109

Robert Race, b. 1943, Gymnast on bars, 1991, wood, painted wood, label for Robert Race to...

Price Realised: £260

Estimate: £80 - £120

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (30% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 109


Robert Race, b. 1943, Gymnast on bars, 1991, wood, painted wood, label for Robert Race to underside, approx. 18.5cm high max, 25.7cm wide, 7.1cm deep; together with seven other pieces by the same artist, to include: Acrobat Pirate (Trapeze Torsion), wood, cord, bearing label for Robert Race to underside, approx. 38cm high, 9.5cm wide; three other trapeze torsion toys; Acrobat Admiral, wood bamboo, painted plywood, cord, sleeve toy, approx. 45cm high, another similar sleeve toy, Acrobat Sailor, 45cm high; and Acrobat, painted plywood, cord, approx. 27cm high (8)

Sir Nicholas Goodison noted:

The Gymnast: The gymnast is an elderly City gent, who appears elsewise in Races work, with bald head and moustache. He is wearing a striped full-length swimsuit in keeping with his years. He somersaults along the parallel bars in a serene motion and in either direction before his rolling pole reaches the notches at each end.

Acrobat Pirate: The acrobats arms and legs are fitted loosely on bolts than run through the body. When the two dowels are squeezed together at the bottom and then relaxed the acrobat somersaults and swings as the twisted double cord which runs through his hands untwists and twists and can be held steady in various positions. Robert Race made trapeze acrobats with various characters. This pirate figure has a wooden peg leg. His arms are tattooed Mum with a snake and Tina with an anchor.

Acrobat Admiral: The Admiral performs gymnastics on top of the long pole, presumably a spare spar from his Flagship Man o War without his hat falling off. The long dowel is attached to his hands by swivel, the bamboo sleeve by cord to his feet. Pushing the sleeve upwards first turns him over the top so that he is hanging upside down on the other side of the pole, then raises his feet so that he is standing on his head on top of the pole. It is all a remarkable feat for a flag officer. There is no historical or fictional record of a flag officer doing it, not even Hornblower.


Gymnast on Bars, Acrobat Pirate, Acrobat Admiral, and Sailor: Purchased, Museum of Naïve Art, Bath, November 1991.

Acrobat - painted plywood: Purchased, Robert Race, British Toymakers Guild, Kensington, January 1992.

Note: Robert Race, b.1943, exhibits his moving toys, automata, and kinetic sculpture in Britain and internationally.He is a member and past Chairman of the British Toymakers Guild. His work often incorporates a wide range of natural, re-used, and recycled material to make objects which move in simple but interesting ways.

Roseberys do not guarantee the working order of any automata or toy.

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over £1,000 as follows:
0 to £50,000 - 4%
£50,000.01 to £200,000 - 3%
£200,000.01 to £350,000 - 1%
£350,000.01 to £500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding £500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at £12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website www.artscouncil.org.uk or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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