Selected Picture Sale Review 13th April 2012

28th June 2012

Lowry-esque orchard scene makes top price at auction

A Lowry-esque painting of Apple Pickers Going Home, by the contemporary artist Mary Newcomb, exceeded all expectations when it was sold at a Cotswold art auction last week.

The long, thin painting, measuring 44 cm by 213.5 cm, was expected to make £10,000 to £15,000, but fierce bidding drove the hammer price to a whopping £35,000 – the highest lot price of the day.

“It was one of the best examples of her work to come to the market in recent years,” said Philip Allwood, of auctioneers Moore Allen & Innocent, “but we were pleasantly surprised by the result.”

Other works by the Wiltshire-born artist also made good prices. The £1,400 paid for 19cm x 19cm The Cockerel on the Church was enough to get it into the Top Ten, while a pencil and monochrome wash, Duck and Drake, made £850.

One of the oldest paintings in the sale also exceeded expectations, selling for £10,000 against an estimate of £5,000 to £7,000.

Boy Aged 13 in a Red Jacket was attributed to Paul van Somer (1577 – 1621) a Flemish artist who arrived in England from Antwerp during the reign of James I and became one of the leading painters of the royal court. The 57.5 cm x 44 cm portrait in oils was painted in 1620.

Propping up the top three was one of a number of Arab-inspired paintings, Middle Eastern Figures in a Desert Village by the Dutch artist Marius Alexander Jacques Bauer (1867-1932), which sold £3,600 against a £1,500 to £2,500 estimate.

Two fine Arabic watercolours by the renowned Italian painter Giulio Rosati (1858-1917) - Backgammon Players, and Two Horsemen at Full Gallop in the Desert – failed to meet their reserve, and the auctioneer is keen to hear from collectors interested in securing the lots.

There were more good results in the book section. A first edition of Emma by Jane Austen, published in three volumes in 1816 achieved £4,000 against an estimate of £1,000 to £1,500.

And A Tour to Spain by John Croft Esquire, from 1841, made £2,400 against an estimate of £500 to £800, while a second edition copy of The Ancient & Present State of Gloucestershire by Sir Robert Atkyns (1768) made £440, despite the fact that the illustrative plates had been removed.

And while a Lowry-esque painting made the top price of the day, section a signed, limited edition print of An Industrial Town by LS Lowry himself sold for £800, while a signed print of Lowry's The Contraption, a study of a man on a tricycle, achieved £580 and a signed artist's proof of Study of two Maidens by surrealist painter Salvador Dali made £500.