Christie's Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale realises a total of $33,507,562

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Christie's Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale realises a total of $33,507,562
The Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale achieved £25,539,300, selling 90% by lot and 97% by value. © Christie's Images Ltd 2022.

LONDON.- Christie’s spring season of 20/21 sales continued in London with the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale, which realised £25,539,300 / $33,507,562 / €30,519,464, selling 90% by lot and 97% by value. Bridget Riley’s Gala, from the artist’s curving-colour series, was pursued by nine phone bidders, leading the sale to eventually sell for a record price of £4,362,000. A rare seascape by L.S. Lowry drew competitive bidding, selling for £2,742,000. The Village Street by Lowry sold for £1,962,000 while his painting The Footbridge, focusing on the architecture of the artist’s hometown, Salford, sold for £315,000. Intense bidding for Sir William Nicholson’s Miss Simpson’s Boots delivered a world auction record for the artist of £1,782,000, more than three times the previous record, and against a pre-sale estimate of £300,000.

Sir John Lavery’s The Croquet Party more than doubled pre-sale expectations to sell for a world auction record of £2,922,000. A further record was set for David Bomberg’s The Bridge and the River Tajo, Ronda (£1,422,000). The sale included two exceptional works by Ben Nicholson, 1936 (white relief) (£1,842,000) and October 1949 (Rangitane) (£1,002,000), one of two large curved panels that Nicholson was commissioned to create in 1949 for the New Zealand Shipping Company’s newest steamship, the M.V. Rangitane. Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell’s Still life with Tulips and Iona sold for £724,500 against an estimate of £350,000 with Sir Peter Blake’s Doktor K. Tortur, one of the most important and recognisable works from the artist’s series of ‘wrestlers’, realising £441,000.

Modern sculpture drew strong results, highlighted by Lynn Chadwick’s Two Watchers V Third Version, one of the artist’s most recognisable subjects, which sold for £730,800. Henry Moore’s Mother and Child sold for £541,800, more than double the low estimate of £250,000. Dame Elisabeth Frink’s Horse realised £630,000 while William Turnbull’s Queen 2 sold for £403,200, and doubled the pre-sale estimate of £200,000. Dame Barbara Hepworth’s Coré, which makes a specific allusion to the ancient Greek ‘Kore’, sold for £655,200 and Hollow Oval (January) sold for £441,000.

Angus Granlund, Head of Evening Sale, Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale: “The Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale, a key auction within our 20/21 March season, delivered strong results, continuing the successes of our London to Shanghai sales earlier in March. From Sir John Lavery to Bridget Riley, bidding was competitive for rare paintings. Registered participation from 14 countries in the sale demonstrates that the appeal of British and Irish artists continues to resonate on the international market.”

The Modern British and Irish Art Day Sale will take place on 23 March 2022 at 1pm.

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