Thursday - 24 April 2014

Cyril Power leads Bloomsbury prints sale

14 June 2013Written by Alex Capon

A rare linocut by Cyril Power (1874-1951) leads the sale of Modern & Contemporary prints at Bloomsbury Auctions in London on June 27.

The Tube Train from c.1934 depicts commuters during rush hour on London's District Line and was among the largest of his linocuts measuring 12.25 x 12.5in (31 x 31.5cm). Although this impression is numbered 17/60, seemingly only one copy has appeared on the market in the last 20 years.

It has been estimated at £50,000-70,000.

The same sale will offer another scarce Cyril Power linocut, Appy Ampstead from c.1933 which depicts the August Bank Holiday fair rides on Hampstead Heath. Billed as "probably the most dynamic Vorticist linocut by Cyril Power", it again comes from an edition of 60 and has been estimated at £30,000-50,000. 

Another linocut by a Grosvenor School artist at the sale is Liner by Ursula Fookes (1906-1991) which has a £25,000-35,000 pitch. Although from an edition of 50, there are only 3 known impressions and, of those, this is the only one which is signed by the artist. 

Student Works

An interesting self-portrait etching by Richard Hamilton (1922-2011) which bears the inscription 'Happy Anniversary Bill and Nora, Love from Richard' has also been entered into the sale.

From 1951, it is not only one of the artist's earliest graphic works but also was his first self-portrait. Produced while he was still a student at the Slade School of Art, it was never published and only a few impressions were pulled which is why only one other example has emerged in the last 10 years.

It has been estimated at £10,000-15,000.

Meanwhile, an impression of David Hockney's (b.1937) Diploma is estimated at £12,000-18,000. The etching with aquatint from 1962 was made during the artist's final year at the Royal College of Art and was produced in an edition of 50.

Hockney had refused to write a final year essay saying that his performance should be judged on his artwork alone and, after the principals refused to award him a diploma, he produced this work as a response, poking fun at the teachers.

The figures in lower left represent his fellow downtrodden students; the monstrous figures above are two of his more unpleasant teachers, and the central figure shows Hockney himself dangling precariously.

Tel: 020 7495 9494.

Back to top