Tuesday - 30 September 2014

Rotation image comes around again – this time at €74,000

10 January 2013Written by Alex Capon

Executed c.1929, this abstract composition by Mainie Jellett (1897-1944) drew significant interest when it appeared at de Veres’ sale in Dublin on November 27.

It was one of her 'rotation' compositions which she began producing in the early 1920s, starting out with single elements rotating on a simple axis, but becoming more complex later in the decade with rotations of up to eight elements (this example has seven).

The work was also larger and bolder than most examples and was described by the auctioneers as a major work.

The 3ft x 2ft 4in (92 x 71cm) oil on canvas had a €30,000-50,000 estimate, which was an attractive pitch considering the £70,000 hammer it had made at Sotheby's in May 2006 - still the highest auction price for Jellet, according to Artnet.

In Dublin this time round, it was bought by one of the underbidders at that former sale - an Irish client who bid the same level they did back in 2006 - but who this time was successful, securing the picture at €74,000 (£62,710).

In terms of auction prices Mainie Jellett, this was the third highest on record - meaning this picture sits at the number-one and number-three spots in the all-time results list. Sandwiched between them is the €92,000 (£65,230) taken by another abstract composition at Adam's in December 2006.

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