Anders Leonard Zorn (Swedish 1860-1920) was one of Swedens foremost Artists who obtained International success as a Painter, Sculptor and Printmaker in etching and when any of his works comes up for sale by auction, invariably the World sits back and watches. Working predominantly in watercolours, Zorns works are so revered a recent study of watercolours sold by auction revealed lesser works to be worth somewhere in the region of £20,000 rising right up to the £2.26 millions paid for a Watercolour entitled Sommarnoje depicting a boating scene, on 6th March 2010 in Stockholm, Sweden. Looking at these extremely large figures one can understand why International interest is always forthcoming whenever fresh works appear and Cotswold Auctioneers and Valuers Tayler and Fletcher
are understandably excited at the prospect of being able to offer to the market a previously unknown and unrecorded work by this most sought after of Artists.
The watercolour to be offered is entitled The Letter and is a small but beautiful composition possibly of English model Mary Smith with whom he was acquainted at this time. The work is signed L Zorn and dated 82 and measures approximately 26cm x 35cm and is considered by the Auctioneers to be of such relevance that they were recently in contact with Professor Johan Cederlund, Director of The Zorn Museum, Mora, Sweden, who exclaimed that it was only one of two new discoveries that had come to light in the past five years and that the images that the Auctioneers had sent him to study were now being used by the Museum in their informational archive.
Although multi-talented, Zorn was also exceptionally well travelled and from 1875-1880 he studied at The Royal Swedish Academy of Arts in Stockholm, Sweden and subsequently to London, Paris, the Balkans, Spain, Italy and the United States becoming an International success as one of the most acclaimed Painters of his era. Naturally enough, it would be a brave man who attempts to value such a piece, coming as it does totally fresh to the market from a deceased Estate in London and although the Auctioneers predict significant world-wide interest (with already serious pre-sale interest from a major dealer in artworks based in Scandinavia having been received), nevertheless, some sort of pre-sale estimate has to be established and the Auctioneers are cautiously mooting £20,000-£30,000 here, with perhaps one or two surprises possibly forthcoming.
It is true to say that although the sale itself is strong in all of the usual sections within a sale of this nature, the paintings and works of art section is particularly strong and one other 19th Century work also worthy of mention comes in the form of a mid 19th Century Oil on Canvas entitled The Little Gleaner by William Powell Frith and Thomas Creswick (Frith painted the Little Gleaner herself and Creswick unusually painted the landscape on this particular work). William Powell Frith was a Royal Academy Artist and this painting distinguishes itself by the fact that it was commissioned by a Mr Birt for £150 guineas (an extremely large sum of money 160 years ago), in circa 1850, the date on the Painting and subsequently, the Painting was thought worthy enough of inclusion within the 1851 Royal Academy Exhibition (No: 502) and the Auctioneers are once again offering a substantial pre-sale estimate of £18,000-£22,000 which hopefully will be met and quite possibly, even exceeded.
Jewellery within this sale is also well represented with many high calibre lots but perhaps none more so than the magnificent late 19th Century 18 carat yellow gold Arts and Crafts ladies Necklace attributed to Architect/ Designer Henry Wilson (1864 1934). The superbly modelled piece features a cast central medallion depicting a kneeling Archer above a Tree of Life and is further above a double crown bar flanked by a Celtic Knot and Heart decorated links suspended with amethyst and moonstone en cabochon oval and tear drop shaped jewels and boasts the original green gilt tooled leather and fitted heart shaped case. The piece certainly has an impeccable provenance as it was the property of a lady and originally commissioned by Sir Hubert Llewellyn-Smith from Henry Wilson along with an enamelled Tiara and Bracelet and has been passed down through the family over the intervening years and reference can be made here to the well known reference work within the business Artists Jewellery Pre-Raphaelite to Arts and Crafts by Charlotte Gere and Geoffrey C Munn and the Auctioneers once again can report significant interest from the higher echelons of the trade and also unsurprisingly enough, from The Cheltenham Art Gallery, a major exhibitor of Arts and Crafts furniture and related items etc.,
Viewing for this particular auction sale at the Pittville Pump Room, Cheltenham, is on Wednesday the 26th October from 8.00am 7.00pm and also on the morning of the sale from 7.30am until the start of sale at 10am.