Saturday, 16 June 2012

£100,000 linocut - Auction Results

Updates on the final prices for the pictures highlighted in recent posts -

Lockdales Auctioneers - The Fine Sale - 13th and 14th June 2012

Lots 719 - "Steeplechasing" by Sybil Andrews (1898-1992)
dates to 1930 and was published in an edition of 60

£19,000 (£22,420 inc buyers premium)

Lot 720 - "Tube Station" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published in an edition of 60

£54,000 (£63,720 inc buyers premium)

Lot 721 - "Speed Trial" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published 1932 in an edition of 60

£96,000 (£113,280 inc buyers premium)

Lots 722 - "At Lavenham" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published in an edition of 100

£750 (£885 inc buyers premium)

Lots 741 - "At Lavenham" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published in an edition of 100

£520 (£613 inc buyers premium)

Woolley and Wallis Oil Painting, Watercolours, Prints, Miniatures and Books - 13th June 2012, 

 Lot 112 Elizabeth York Brunton (19th/20th Century)
"Carriages in the Shade" signed woodcut, 29cm by 36cm.

£190 (£240 inc buyers premium)

and another I did not mention

Lot 94 John Platt (20th Century)
"The Ultava at Prague" signed titled and numbered LXII, Woodcut 25.5cm by 36.5cm

£80 (£101 inc buyers premium)

WOW - some breath taking prices !! Over £100,000 for a linocut - more surprising is the £750 paid for the black and white linocut of an old house !! any other artist £20 may be ? The Brunton woodcut made a fair price, although if I had bought it and had it framed ready to exhibit, I doubt I would see much of a profit. A fair price for a collector to have paid.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Grosvenor School - For Sale !!

...... a follow up from yesterdays posting highlighting pictures that are coming up for sale at auction.

Today's selection are a group of important (high value) linocuts by artists associated with the Grosvenor School of Modern Art; which included such artists as Claude Flight, Sybil Andrews, Cyril Edward Power, Iain MacNab and Lill Tschudi. Yes; those Art Deco Cubist linocuts with highly stylised swirling brightly coloured masterpieces.

There are only 5 lots, 3 of which can only be described as iconic !! if you collect Modern British prints, then these are amongst the best around and they always make £1000s when they come up for sale - So here your chance, a rare opportunity to buy -- Where and when you ask

Lockdales Auctioneers - The Fine Sale - 13th and 14th June 2012

Lots 719 - "Steeplechasing" by Sybil Andrews (1898-1992)
dates to 1930 and was published in an edition of 60

Lot 720 - "Tube Station" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published in an edition of 60

Lot 721 - "Speed Trial" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published 1932 in an edition of 60

Lots 722 and 741 - "At Lavenham" by Cyril Edward Power (1872-1951)
published in an edition of 100

I know my favourite ! The Tube Station, I love the colours and the curved perspective. It reminds me of the contemporary printmaker, Gail Brodholt with her modern interpretation of these classic images.

"Going Underground" by Gail Brodholt

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Elizabeth York Brunton (1880-1973)

This posting has been inspired by a lot in an auction in the 13th June 2012. As I was searching through endless boring lots of pictures and prints, the picture below caught my eye - immediately it looked of interest. Just the type of image I would happily hang on my wall, both at Fine Art Fairs and at home waiting for it to sell. Those are the joys and worries of being a dealer, you can enjoy your stock at home whilst worrying whether it will ever sell !!

This is for sale at Woolley and Wallis in Salisbury in their Oil Painting, Watercolours, Prints, Miniatures and Books sale in the 13th June 2012, this is Lot 112. Their catalogue description states - Elizabeth York Brunton (19th/20th Century) "Carriages in the Shade" signed woodcut, 29cm by 36cm.

What caught my eye from the tiny thumbnail picture was the possibility of it being a Frank Morley Fletcher (1866-1950).

The composition and techniques have a similarity (see right), the use of the sketchy black key line delineating the detail within the blocks of colours, some with and some without key lines. His colouring also often has the deliberate grained brushed effect, not the flat uniform colour of Urushibara.

Is there a connection between these artists, contemporaries ? teacher/student ?

I alway, like to start with The dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940 , just plain facts to work from - Elizabeth York Brunton Exh 1906-36, Painter and colour woodcut engraver. Studied Edinburgh College of Art and Paris. Address - Inveresk 1906, Edinburgh 1911. She exhibited 19 pictures at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 5 Walker Gallery Liverpool, 15 Royal Scottish Academy and 2 at the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours. Quite a record some success  and some clues ?? and the Morley Fletcher connection, as he was director at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1907 until 1926. It's look to be a teacher student relationship.

Now for some Googling - and it was not such a surprise that she has already been blogged !! one guess ? "Art and the Aesthete" . Interesting that he lists her teacher at Edinburgh as John Platt, an artist whose woodcuts are similar to Frank Morley Fletcher.

Also that whilst in Paris she studied at the Academie Colarossi, who director from 1910 was the progressive female New Zealand artist Frances Hodgkins (1869-1947).

Other notable British students to graduate from this academy include Samuel Lamorna Birch, John Duncan Fergusson, Mina Loy, Samual Peploe, Dod Proctor and Sydney Vosper. Perhaps more interestingly for those interested in graphic art, Alphonse Mucha and Amedeo Modigliani both studied there.

Disappointingly I was able to find any other picture by her, the British Museum hold 9 prints by her but none are pictured, you will have to visit their collection to see them. The titles are; Demoiselle Cranes, Penguins, Owls, Sellagruppa, Monta Cristallo and Lake Landro, Watch Tower, Drei Zinnen and Lake Misurina,
Drei Zinnen and Lake Landro and Tofana. All these woodcut were acquired in 1926, so they were created before this date; yet she exhibited Tofana 78/100 priced at 3 guineas at the Society of Artist Printers 1931 exhibition in Edinburgh. The edition sizes of the Birds is unstated with the others published in an edition of 100.

Hopefully, there are many copies that survive, if all were sold and with luck a few more will appear on the market for us to enjoy !! I wonder how much it will sell for ??

NEWS - Nov 2013
New information from the artist's great nephew (see comment) is that she died in 1973 not 1960 as originally quoted. Such a shame that the original drawings were thrown away.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Maurice Milliere (1871-1946)

"Le Petite Femme de Milliere"
She was the creation of Maurice Milliere (1871-1946), the ever present girl in his illustrations and etchings, his trade mark model

Maurice Georges Louis Milliere was a French, painter, etcher and illustrator, best remembered for his risque illustration for the magazine La Vie Parisienne.

He was born in Le Havre to upper working class parents; his father was a merchant's clerk. His early artistic interests are not known, but we can assume he was a creative child as he completed his secondary education at the Ecole De Beaux Arts in Le Harve before travelling to Paris in 1889 to continue his studies at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Arts Decoratifs.

On graduation (if that is the correct term) his early artistic endeavours were limited to landscape painting or portraits of Parisian society ladies.

The first etchings appear from c1907 and by 1910, at this early stage of his career his style resemble that of Paul Cesar Helleu (1859-1927), with fashionable "Belle Epoque" society ladies dressed in flowing Edwardian gowns and wearing big floppy hats.

Paul Cesar Helleu c1895 (left) and Milliere 1910 (right)

His boudoir style of young women; unconsciously erotic yet quite adorable seem to develop from about 1910 and came to be known as "La Poupees de Milliere" or doll women. His dolls are more overtly sexual in his illustrations for magazines, not just showing a little bit of flesh, but bearing all, no imagination required to see what is on offer !! his etchings seem a little tame compared to some of these.

illustrations for La Vie Parisienne 1921-24 - Link
"La Poupee" has lost her innocence !

Soon after his favourite model, muse?, appears. If you look closely you will find her in many his illustrations for La Vie Parisienne and his etchings. You can almost date the picture of the 1910 to 1918 period by her look; as she can be seen to grow from coy teenager into the more worldly voluptuous young women of later compositions. Sadly, as the story is told, she vanished during WW1 never to be seen again, other than through the imagination of Maurice. No one knew her name, which only adds to the mystery.

His etchings continue to develop through the 1920's losing the Edwardian Helleu influence and gaining a free spirited art deco feel; big full crinoline skirts, dogs and cats, all the elements you find Grellet or Icart, whilst keeping his own style. His boudoir art can never be called a pastiche of Icart, not influenced by other artists of the genre, just the fashion and Zeitgeist of his time.

His art was not limited to etching, he continued to paint, usually in oil on canvas. Oddly his style moved away from the portraiture of his early career to a more Monet like impressionist style. Which whilst painted in a fashionable highly and brightly coloured palette was perhaps an out dated style, a little bit passée when painted in the 1930's.

This example "Foret de Fontainebleau" is an oil on canvas dating to 1931.

For sale at and priced at £12,500 !! wow - cheaper than a Monet, but just think how many original pencil signed boudoir etchings you could buy instead.
Maurice Milliere was undeniably a commercial success, in addition to his original works of art such as the oil paintings and etching, he was a prolific commercial illustrator, being commissioned to create images that were used in magazines such as La Vie Parisienne and Fantasio, on postcards, posters, menus and product packaging. He also gained much critical success, exhibiting at "Salon des Artiste Francais", "Salon du Humoristes" being made a Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur and at the 1931 L'Exposition Coloniale where he was awarded a gold medal.

Maurice is my favourite of all the boudoir artist, on average I like 90% of them, a far higher number than for Louis Icart. Perhaps he isn't the most recognised name, the general art deco loving public will alway name "Ic - cart" before any others - good because that leaves the Milliere for me and a select group of connoisseurs. Like other artists, his period work can be bought quite reasonably, if you can't afford a £12500 oil painting then a period postcard will on;y cost you £10-20. The original pencil signed etchings and aquatints are increasing in value and good clean, well framed examples will cost quite a few ££££.

A selection of postcard designs.

SEE - for current stock.

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Saturday, 9 June 2012

Albert Ferro - Boudoir Art

Albert Ferro ? ........... a new name to me or is it Fesso?

These pictures recently appeared for sale with little or no information about the artist. They are boudoir art; etchings, signed and numbered in pencil with publishers details "copyright 1923 by Hautecoeur"; but who was he ? can we find any other information.

The girls are little flat, slightly two dimensional and lack the fun sparkle in the eye of other artists, such as P E Felix or Jean Hardy. All the elements are there, pretty girls fashionable clothes and the splashy aquatint skirts, but they are a bit too monochromatic for my tastes - I want a bit more colour !

The plates are fully etched, not too much empty space, they are oval (which is always popular) and fully signed in pencil. They are worth every penny of the asking price and probably more. You could buy 20 of these for the price of a good Icart !!

Can anyone add to the story ??

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Modern Pentathlon in Bronze

following on from my Decathlon posting...........

Today I try for a Modern Pentathlon in bronze medals..........hopefully and easy task with some beautiful medals to show for their effort. First the history !! this event was created by Baron Pierre de Coubertin for his modern Olympic Games and first held at the 1912 Stockholm Games and first won by a Swedish athlete Gustaf Malcolm "Gösta" Lilliehöök.

The competition combines, Pistol shooting, Epee fencing, Swimming, Show jumping and Cross Country running.

Here is my selection......

Pistol shooting

Epee fencing

Emile Monier


Show Jumping

Cross Country

This pentathlon was surprisingly difficult to complete, partly due to language problems, but mainly because specific medals were not made for these events. Swimming and Fencing were not a problem. However, pistol shooting were scare, most shooting medals featured rifles and that includes those awarded in pistol competitions. The same problem for Cross Country Running, the medals just feature runners all looking like they are running an eye balls out 800m !! So these are the best of a poor selection.