Pictures from the collection of art dealer Sir Jack Baer sold for £81,000 at Sworders
inaugural auction of Old Masters, British and European Art. The core of the September 27 sale was provided by items from 9 Phillimore Terrace, the Kensington house where Jack and Diana Baer lived for more than 50 years.
As befitting the home of one of the most successful and well-regarded picture dealers of his generation (Jack Baer was the man who built Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox into a world-class concern), art was at the centre of the home. Hundreds of paintings, drawings and prints were hung throughout the house. Nineteenth century French drawings and oils, always a strength of the Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox gallery, were a favourite but so too were colourful works from the Modern British canon.
The 22 lots offered in September were topped at £19,000 an oil sketch by Théodore Rousseau (1812-67). Painted on paper and then laid down on board this 11 x 33cm) scene titled simply Paysage had formed part of a 1956 Hazlitt gallery exhibition of Barbizon School art and was later included in Michael Schulmans 1999 catalogue raisonné of Rousseaus work.
Sold at £17,000 to the same London collector was Roof Tops, an equally atmospheric 12 x 31cm oil on board sketch of the French countryside as viewed from the roofline by Robert-Léopold Leprince (1800-47). It was indistinctly titled, signed and dated 1819 placing it early in the artists career. At the time he was being taught by his father, Anne-Pierre and his brother Auguste-Xavier. Leprince was part of the second wave of French artists who came to paint nature in the Forest of Fontainebleau, some 35 miles southeast of Paris. He settled in the artists colony at Chailly.
More pictures from the Baer collection form part of Sworders Modern and Contemporary sale on October 4.