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30th October 2021

A varied selection of pictures, comprising five centuries of art, provided plenty of choice for collectors in Lawrences’ autumn auction of pictures.

Amongst the watercolours and drawings, a newly re-discovered drawing by Walter Sickert, depicting a nude by a bed in Mornington Crescent, c.1909, made £6875; a light-hearted caricature by Louis Wain of a cat with a cigar, entitled `Quick Puff` , more than doubled hopes of £1500 to make £3750;  a small watercolour portrait of Dodda Vira Raja, Ruler of Coorg (1780-1809), attributed to John Smart, made £10000; and a fine watercolour by the Australian artist Norman Lindsay, entitled `Fanfrolico` and fully endorsed by the artist’s granddaughter, tripled its estimate to make £17500. It had been bought at a small auction in Yorkshire in the 1960s for only a modest bid.

Great demand for oil paintings of every type was in evidence when a Royal Academy exhibit by Nicholas Condy, entitled `Interior of an Irish cottage at Ballyboyleboo, Antrim`, 1843, made £5000; a lively Provincial hare coursing scene from the 18th Century was chased to £8750; a 1936 Sussex landscape by leading Bloomsbury artist Vanessa Bell made £8125 and £55000 was paid for a newly researched and authenticated landscape scene by Paul Bril (1554-1626).

Amongst the 20th Century British pictures, £10625 was paid for a signed Lowry print of `Berwick on Tweed` (1973); £40,000 was paid for a collection of modern pictures and prints from a private vendor, led by a suite of four oils by Tom Phillips, 1972, that made £8750; and the day’s top price, a restful oil on canvas, c.1912, by Sir Alfred Munnings, depicting a grey pony watering at a country pool in dappled light, that more than doubled its upper estimate of £30,000 to make £62500.

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5 stars

“Congratulations on what looked like a very successful sale ! You never mentioned that you did the auctioneering as well ... talk about doing the whole job ... see it into the building, find out what it is, decide if it’s for the Fine Art sale or the General Sale, lot it and describe it accordingly, and then sell it ... that really does count as seeing the job through from start to finish! Whilst the job isn’t over yet, it really is a case of so far, so good ... some items have sold for sums that exceeded our expectations, with one item in particular fetching a truly remarkable sum, so we’re very happy indeed... we’ve noted how accurate the guide prices are ... and how gratifying it is when the bidding goes sailing past the guide ! I found the whole week to be both gripping entertainment and pleasingly rewarding financially. Please accept my sincerest congratulations for a job well done, and we’ll look forward to the October and November Sales with bated breath ...”

Andrew P

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