Shropshire Star

Paintings specialist targets 250 lots for contemporary art auction

The paintings and prints specialist at a leading Shropshire fine art auction house is hoping to attract more than 250 lots for the company’s next live modern and contemporary art auction in October.

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John Tunnard’s watercolour ‘Cluster’, valued at up to £8,000, which will be sold in October.

Abigail Molenaar is looking to build on a series of excellent prices achieved in the Halls Fine Art’s timed modern and contemporary art auction in April.

The auction saw an oil painting by contemporary Scottish artist James Harrigan of an Isle of Arran coastal scene sell for £2,300, an abstract composition by Gillian Ayres, CBE (1930-2018) make £1,800 and an artist’s proof by John Piper (1903-1992) of Carew Castle fetch £1,350.

Two stencil prints by mysterious British street artist Banksy also went under the hammer. ‘Diver Lovers, Dismaland 2015’ made £750 and ‘Golf Sale, Banksy Dismalland $1 Bill, showing the Tiananmen Square protest and stamped ‘Dismaland Bemusement Park’, sold for £450.

James Harrigan’s Isle of Arran coastal scene that sold for £2,300 in April.

‘Dismaland’ was Banksy’s pop-up exhibition in the seaside resort of Weston-super-mare in 2015. Prepared in secret in a disused lido, the exhibition was said to be "a sinister twist on Disneyland”.

Cecil Rochford D'Oyly John (1906-1993) oil painting of St Tropez sold for £750 and three abstracts by Bernard Farmer (1919-2002) sold separately and peaked at £410.

Abigail already has 40 paintings consigned for the next sale on October 23, which will be held live in the saleroom at Halls’ Battlefield headquarters.

The paintings include abstracts by John Tunnard (1900-1971) and John Piper at up to £8,000 and £6,000 respectively and a collection of seven works by contemporary artist James Hart Dyke from his year spent with MI6 to mark the centenary of the British Secret Intelligence Service in 2009.

‘Felsham’, a gouache by John Piper, valued at up to £6,000, which will be sold in October.

MI6 invited the artist behind closed doors and into the secret world of espionage, resulting in a series of paintings and drawings that contributed to the ‘A year with MI6’ exhibition at Mount Street Galleries, London.

James had to work under strict conditions of secrecy and his exhibition attracted international media coverage.

“Following encouraging prices in April, our next auction in October is already looking very healthy, with 40 lots consigned, including quality works by noted artists,” said Abigail. “We also have another major consignment of paintings on the horizon.”

For more information about consigning works to future auctions, call Abigail on 01743 450700.