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Hoardin' A Bawden Pays Off After 50 Years...

16th July 2018

Variety  has long been a key to the success of the auctions of picture and prints at Lawrences and the 357-lot selection on July 6th was no exception.

Good quality watercolours yielded strong bids. A fresh and atmospheric 1870 view of the Piazzetta in Venice by William Callow exceeded its £3000-4000 estimate to make £5360 two `sketchbook` lots provided further highlights. A selection of fifty sketchbooks from the family of the Earls of Carlisle comprised myriad studies by minor members of the family spanning much of the 19th Century and made £6100 whilst a charmingly light-hearted sketchbook by Jemima Blackburn had also passed by descent in the artist’s family and raced beyond hopes of £3000-4000 to take just over £12,300. 

In the selection of oils, a gruesome but imposing copy after Alessandro Allori of `Judith with the Head of Holofernes`, based on the prime version of c.1613-1620, made £15,860.  Two later oils also did well: an 1870’s scene of Arabs with a  camel on the outskirts of Jerusalem by Scots-born New Yorker James Fairman made £10,980 and a carefully composed scene of Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar by Bernard Gribble dated from 1911 and made £8780, above its £4000-6000 guide.

The top price in the print selection was paid for Edward Bawden’s lithograph of Borough Market (1967).  They had been bought by the owners from the Royal Academy on July 20th 1968. Almost exactly 50 years later to the day, the print made £5120: this appears to be a new world record price for the subject at auction.

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