There were local, or at least county, connections when this large linocut print, ‘Church and Thunderstorm’ by Edward Bawden (1903-1989) was offered by Essex auctioneers Sworders at their spring Country House sale.
It is a reworking of a design which the Essex artist first
produced for a poster promoting the Saffron Walden Festival of 1975
and shows St. Mary's Church in the town centre dramatically
profiled against a thunderous sky broken by shafts of sunlight.
Bawden referred to this print as his second edition of the
Saffron Walden poster but, while it contains several of the same
printing blocks, the 1980 edition differs materially from the
original print. Although it is marked as being No 6 in a run of 50
prints, it is not known how many impressions of this 4ft 10in x
21in (1.47m x 57cm) work were made as they were probably special
Based in Stansted Mountfitchet, Sworders have sold Bawden's work
on many occasions but not this design. Estimated at £2500-3500 for
the sale on May 19, it sold at £3300 to a private buyer on the
Bawden's signed and inscribed colour linocut The Gnat and
the Lion from his Aesop's Fables series, published by
Curwen Press, c.1970 sold at £1650 at the same sale.
As expected, the high point of this sale was provided by a
meticulously rendered watercolour by Charles Edward Wilson
(1854-1941). His Last Investment, measuring 18in
x 2ft 2in (46 x 66cm), depicting an old woman and young boy in a
rustic interior is close in style and subject matter to Wilson's
Home Sweet Home, which made £15,600 at Christie's in 2007.
Estimated at £7000-9000, His Last Investment went at
£10,500 to the UK trade.
The buyer's premium was 20%.