On the 18th June, Toovey’s will host their second Select Painting Sale of 2014. Prior to the printed catalogue landing on doorsteps around the world and in advance of the online catalogue being uploaded to Toovey’s website, we thought a preview of five of the highlights might be in order.
Firstly we look at the £3000-5000 sanguine drawing above, it is by an artist who needs no introduction, William Russell Flint (1880-1969). While most people are familiar with his colour prints, his original works are not often seen for sale at auction. This sanguine comes with a letter from the artist dated 9.12.68 which states ‘the rubbing must be my own unless the drawing has been taken from its frame and smeared’, referring to the minor smudging to some lines. Having no sign of being taken out of its frame, this can no longer be seen as a condition flaw, instead it is part of the drawings character. The work on paper measuring 38cm x 56.5cm is titled ‘The Model with the Fringe’. Other works by Flint in the auction include three drypoint etchings and a scarce line block.
Another painting included in the sale is an original watercolour by Henry Ryland (1856-1924), which in subject matter is certainly similar to that of Flint, albeit a little bit earlier. The soft quality and palette reflects the tradition of classical scenes of the late 19th Century, popularized by the likes of Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Albert Moore. ‘Calm of Evening’ by Ryland measures 38cm x 56cm and is offered with a pre-sale estimate of £1000-1500.
An original watercolour and ink by Annie French (1872-1965) is included in the June auction of Select Fine Art. Titled ‘A Lady with a Bouquet’ this beautiful work measures 25cm x 8cm. The labels on the back show that it has previously been retailed by Kaye Michie and the Maas Gallery prior to being offered in Toovey’s auction. It is presented in a bespoke mount with ink stylized flowerheads to reflect the artist’s hand. This work by a leading member of the Glasgow School and talented book illustrator carries a pre-sale estimate of £2000-3000.
‘It’s all in the name’ is a phrase often associated with the Fine Art market. Perhaps the inclusion of two works by Noël Coward (1899-1973) in the sale reflects this. The works by the English playright, composer, director and singer show an amateur charm. In his diary Coward wrote: “Compared with the pretentious muck in some London galleries… my amateur efforts appear brilliant.” Many of Coward’s paintings feature in a work by Sheridan Morley, who wrote:
“In his lifetime, Noël always reserved his own paintings as first-night or birthday gifts, allowing only one or two to go for the very occasional charity auction and fearing, as he once wrote, that a kind of ‘celebrity snobbism’ might otherwise make them valued more for their autograph than for their intrinsic worth.”
The view of a villa above, presumably depicts an unidentified home in Jamaica. It is estimated at £800-1200, but will the purchaser be associating the value to the picture or the autograph? Hopefully a bit of both!
The final work in our preview is a tondo view of two children picking flowers in a landscape. It is by Royal Academician Alfred Oliver who flourished between 1886 and 1921. From this period is the oil on canvas shown here. Measuring 38.5cm in diameter, this work had previously been retailed by the Macconnal-Mason gallery, today, it carries a pre-sale estimate of £500-800.
Toovey’s Select Sale of Fine Art starts at 10.00am on Wednesday 18th June and is the opening session of Toovey’s June specialist auctions. Viewing times for the select painting sale is as follows:
Saturday 14th June 9.30am to 12.00 noon
Monday 16th June 10.00am to 4.00pm
Tuesday 17th June 10.00am to 4.00pm
and on the day of the auction, Wednesday 18th June, 9.00am to 10.00am (the start of the auction).