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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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