Friday - 24 October 2014

Power speeds to £96,000 record

25 June 2012Written by Alex Capon

Lockdales of Ipswich are probably best known as coin and militaria specialists but, having moved premises earlier this year, they have also offered some stand-out items in their fine art and antiques sales in 2012.

None more so than the three prize Grosvenor School prints at their latest such sale on June 13-14.

Offered separately, the two linocuts by Cyril Power (1872-1951) and one by his artistic partner Sybil Andrews (1898-1992) had come in on a valuation day and were all given 'there-to-be-sold' estimates of £2000-3000.

First up was Andrews' Steeplechasing, which drew serious interest and took £19,000. This was immediately topped after an even greater competition emerged for Power's Tube Station,which was finally knocked down at £54,000 to an internet bidder. The sum was the highest for a Grosvenor School print ever sold at an auction outside London.

However, it was then sensationally eclipsed by Power's even rarer Speed Trial, which sold at £96,000 to a private collector in the room and set an auction record for any Grosvenor School print.

The previous high was the £94,000 seen for Ethel Spowers' (1890-1947) The Gust of Wind  sold at Bonhams in April.

Power was fascinated by the movement and vitality of the modern age and his Speed Trial linocut from c.1932 was derived from Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird machine which broke the land speed record by reaching 246mph in 1931.

While Power made as many as 16 experimental proofs for this print (a couple of which have emerged over the last decade), examples of the final edition of 60 have hardly ever appeared at auction and so it appears that the signed copy, numbered 18/60, at Lockdales represented an opportunity for some of the biggest players in the market to fill a gap in their collections.

The buyer's premium was 15%

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