Modern British art played its part in the recent London print sales when ‘The Merry-Go-Round’ by Cyril Power (1872-1951) drew strong bidding at Sotheby’s on September 27 and ‘Adonis in Y fronts’, a 1963 screenprint by Richard Hamilton (1922-2011), led the day at Christie’s South Kensington on September 20.
The 15¾ x 14½in (40 x 37cm) Merry-Go-Round, a dynamic
example of the Grosvenor School draughtsman's linocuts, was one of
an edition of 50 dating from c.1930 and signed in pencil. Chosen
for the catalogue front-cover illustration, it was estimated at
£5000-7000 but sold to a UK private buyer at £26,000 - the highest
price seen at auction for a copy of this print and the third
highest for any print by Power.
The 2ft 3in x 2ft 7in (69 x 84cm) Adonis in Y fronts,
which came to auction exactly a week after Hamilton died, was
signed in pencil and numbered 6/40 (there were also a few
It was produced as part of four early 1960s works on the theme
of trends in men's underpants and derived from an advertisement for
body-building expanders. The first of many Hamilton screenprints
printed by Chris Prater, founder of Kelpra Studio, it sold to a
European private buyer at a mid-estimate £23,000.
The Grosvenor School was also represented at CSK when a copy of
Sybil Andrew's (1898-1992) linocut The Winch from
1930 went above estimate at £17,000 to a US private buyer.