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Prices on the Crest of a Wave for Alfred Wallis as Oil makes £28750...

27th October 2020

Lawrences’ auction of 300 lots of pictures and prints on October 23rd spanned five centuries and the auctioneers reported remarkable enthusiasm from bidders from start to finish, with over 85% of the lots sold.

In the watercolour section, an ink and wash drawing by Thomas Rowlandson made £5000; and an atmospheric sunset study by Albert Goodwin soared above expectations of £900 to make £3250. Amongst the older oil paintings, a Royal Academy landscape by Frederick Hulme entitled `By Hedgerow, Elms or Hillocks Green` (1873) took £3750; and a grand marine panorama in the style of Peter Monamy (1681-1749) from a local deceased’s estate  made £13750.

The two top prices were paid for two large portraits formerly in the collection of Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick (1783-1848): a copy after Anthonis Mor of a portrait of Philip II of Spain made £32500 and a quietly sophisticated portrait of a mother and a child by a follower of Marcus Gheeraerts, c.1600, made £80000.

In the selection of modern pictures and prints, a signed 1974 print of L S Lowry’s `Industrial Scene` made £5375 (apparently the highest price ever paid for this print at auction); a summery scene of St Ives by John Anthony Park made £4500; a serene study in Marseilles by Marcel Dyf made £4000 and a Lowry-esque view of Albert Square in Manchester by Arthur Delaney  made £4000. A poetic, almost dreamlike oil of figures in a sun-dappled copse by George Russell (1867-1935) came with provenance back to its year of creation in 1919 and made £12125 whilst the section was led by a deceptively simple study on cardboard of a `West Country Schooner on a Swell` by Alfred Wallis, a passionate amateur artist from St Ives who died in 1942 after achieving a degree of renown late in life in 1928. The picture, acquired from the artist by the vendor’s aunt, had the trustworthy provenance that collectors love and this helped it to soar above its £8000-12000 estimate and to ride a wave of bids to £28750.

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