Summer sale dedicated to British art

20/05/2019     Modern & Contemporary British Art, News Stories & Press Release

Dod Procter Leon Underwood Mary Fedden


LONDON: Roseberys London is proud to offer Modern & Contemporary British Art, an exciting addition to the roster of auctions taking place in the capital this summer. Dedicated solely to British talent, the 324-lot auction will be held on June 11 and covers a variety of key movements from early Modernist, Surrealist and Neo Romantic art to Post-War Abstraction, Pop Art and Outsider Art.

Portraits and works on paper are strong themes running through the sale while two stand out collections of works by multitalented sculptor artists, Eduardo Paolozzi and Leon Underwood. Completing the bumper offering are significant consignments of modern Jewish art including works sold to benefit the collecting programs of the Ben Uri Gallery & Museum in London.

Marcus Grey Head of Department comments: “Due to the success of our 2018 Modern British sales we are delighted increase our sale calendar to include a third auction this year. This sale represents a diverse selection of works by artists working in the British Isles across the 20th century. There is an equally interesting array of mediums, including works on paper, oil paintings, and a variety of three-dimensional works, including a selection of plaster maquettes by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi and two glass sculptures by Sir Terry Frost. The cover lot for the sale is a very fine painting by James Dickson Innes, an artist rarely seen in salerooms”.

A fitting inclusion to the summer sale is Collioure, a sun-drenched oil on panel by the Welsh-born painter James Dickson Innes (1887-1914), which comes with exceptional provenance to the collection of London solicitor Wilfrid Evill (lot 58). Evill had a remarkable eye for Modern British art, assembling his collection between 1925 and 1960. Upon his death, it was left to his ward Honor Frost, the bulk of which was later sold in a landmark multi-million-pound auction in London in 2011.
The Innes painting was sold by Frost several decades before and comes with labels on the verso for the venerable London galleries Agnew’s and the Redfern Gallery, and an old label for an exhibition at the Brighton Art Gallery held in 1965. Consigned from a private London collection, it is offered here at £10,000-15,000. Innes – who is best known for his expressive paintings of mountains and remote landscapes – was drawn to Collioure for its warm climate and situation on the Mediterranean coast of France near the Spanish border. He became enamoured with its vibrant colours and light, painting the picturesque harbour several times. Innes visited three times between 1908 and 1913.

Another star from the sale is a LS Lowry (1887-1976) oil and pencil drawing that was acquired directly from his estate (Lot 82). Lowry made his name painting industrial landscapes in north west England, particularly around Salford and Pendlebury in Lancashire, where he worked as a rent collector for most of his career. His best-known works convey a hive of human activity surrounding mills and factories and populated with his trademark ‘matchstick men’. In this drawing Lowry has distilled the urban environment down to four figures and a dog. The bold confident lines, heavy shading and stooped posture of the figures are all characteristic of his draughtsmanship while strokes of his signature warm white oil paint serve to heighten the contrast between the dark figures and the lighter background. The drawing is estimated at £7,000-10,000.

Two glass sculptures by Sir Terry Frost (1915-2003) feature in the auction, made by the artist in tribute to Venice and its remarkable tradition of hand-made glass. A glass disk with applied glass 'brushstrokes' is estimated at £3,000-5,000 (Lot 323), while a vase with similar decoration is estimated at £3,500-4,500 (Lot 324). Both were produced in 2001. Although these are editioned artist proofs no further edition was made and each work is, by the nature of being hand-blown, unique. They form part of a series of works Frost produced in the late 1990s and early 2000s on Murano, the island in the Venetian lagoon famous for its glass-blowing. He was enthralled by the artisans he met there and did not merely design these pieces but was present and participated in their manufacture. These intricate objects reflect Frost's interest in vivid colour, abstraction, and gesture.


Eduardo Paolozzi Allen Jones James Dickson Innes

Women artists of the 20th century - a category that has seen a bullish rise on the secondary market – is represented in the sale by several key names. An unusual early work showing a vase of flowers by the influential painter Mary Fedden (1915-2012) carries a guide of £4,000-6,000 (Lot 76). This elegant oil was completed in 1948, soon after Fedden resumed her painting career following the Second World War. (A student of the Slade School of Art between 1932-1936, Fedden had served in the Land Army and the Women's Voluntary Service for the war’s duration.) Executed in oil, it shows the influence of Neo-Romanticism in her work and is darker in tone and more painterly in style than her later work. It does, however, foreshadow her better known later still lifes in its carefully planned composition and vibrant reds, pinks, and blues. Prices for the Durham-born painter Olwyn Bowey (b.1936) have been rising sharply over the last few years while a new auction record for the artist was set earlier this year.

Bowey studied at the Royal College of Art where she was awarded a David Murray Landscape Scholarship. While her early career focused on portraiture, her interests diverged increasingly towards landscape and still life, with a particular eye for botanical painting. Bowey is now known for her plein air landscape and garden paintings, and for her oils depicting her greenhouse, which doubles as her studio.In the sale is The Walled Garden, an oil exhibited at the 1999 RA Summer Exhibition. It comes with a copy of a letter from the artist to the vendor and is estimated at £2,000-3,000 (Lot 191).

A striking portrait by the trailblazing painter Dod Procter (1892-1972) carries an estimate of £4,000-6,000 (Lot 5). Burmese Girl was painted during a trip to Burma in c.1920 and is both early and unusual. Procter, born Doris Margaret Shaw, was educated among the artists colonies of Newlyn and St Ives. In 1942, she became only the second woman to be made a Royal Academician since 1768. Together with her husband, fellow artist Ernest Procter, they travelled to Rangoon in 1919 to undertake a commission from a Chinese businessman to decorate Kokine Palace. Upon completing their work, they travelled to Mandalay and sailed up the Irrawaddy - a rare experience for western artists at the time, as Burma was a relatively isolated country with few tourists or foreign visitors. 

A drawing by the so called ‘father of Modern British art’, Walter Sickert (1860-1942)(Lot 1). The signed pencil and watercolour on paper of L’Eglise du Pollet in Dieppe was drawn between 1907-11 on one of the artist’s return trips to northern France where he lived for many years. It carries an estimate of £2,000-3,000.

A set of four striking fan-shaped watercolours made in 1982 by the major British pop artist Allen Jones (b.1937) carry a £4,000-6,000 estimate (Lot 296). The four works – Dangerous Erection, Endangered Species II, Far Out, and Red Sea – reference traditional Chinese watercolours in their fan-shaped design, which the Impressionists sometimes adopted themselves. These employ Jones's bold colours and pop art aesthetic to create striking contemporary compositions.

Born in Southampton, Jones studied at the Hornsey College of Art and then at the Royal College of Art where he was a contemporary of David Hockney, R.B. Kitaj and others who would be key players in the emerging Pop Art movement in Britain. Although he is perhaps best known for his provocative fibreglass fetish sculptures, Jones has worked in watercolour throughout his life. In 2007, the Royal Academy invited him to select watercolours from his own collection for display in their Tennant Room.

A fine collection of works by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) include both graphic designs and plaster sculptures, many with direct provenance from the artist’s estate (Lot 163-172). The highlight here is a vibrant study of hand-coloured mosaic designs over a photocopied base on paper, which is estimated at £3,000-4,000 (Lot 163). With equally strong provenance comes a small collection of works on paper by the sculptor Leon Underwood (1890-1975), which have passed by direct descent from the artist’s estate (Lot 10-15). Among the lots is a female nude study, signed and dated 1937, which is estimated at £200-300 (Lot 12).  



You can find the full catalogue online here. 

Auction: Modern & Contemporary British Art  
Tuesday 11 June, 12 noon

Viewing Times

Friday 7 June 1pm-5pm

Sunday 9 June 10am-2pm

Monday 10 June 9:30-5:30pm

Tuesday 11 June 9:30am-11:30am


For further information please contact Peigi Mackillop +44 (0) 20 8761 2522




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