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Watercolour painting


Pre-Raphaelite’s time has come...

15 April 2004

With a dozen works by the artist currently on show at Tate Britain’s Pre-Raphaelite exhibition, Sussex auctioneers John Nicholson (15% buyer’s premium) could hardly have picked a better time to offer a watercolour by George Price Boyce (1826-97) than at their March 17 sale in Fernhurst.

Bidding stays solid in the gossamer world of Annie French

01 April 2004

WITH a style, as one writer has put it, “sweetly intensified to a point where the world is reduced to a world of gossamer”, Annie French (1872-1965) was a Glasgow School artist who took the Art Nouveau idiom of Beardsley and Burne-Jones to new decorative extremes.

Traditional demand lifts bidding in provinces

01 April 2004

WITH a name like the Old Picture Palace, the former cinema in Matlock that is the newly acquired saleroom of the Derby auctioneers Bamfords (15% buyer’s premium) should be the sort of venue where the more traditional end of the art market should feel at home.

Roses’ bloom has faded, but not blown over

23 March 2004

FIFTEEN or so years ago works by the likes of Helen Allingham (1848-1926) and the Stannards of Bedfordshire had the sweet smell of success all over them. However, in more recent times the general consensus is that watercolours of this genre, which I loosely describe as “roses round the cottage door”, have slipped from favour.

The problem of identifying bonafide Boningtons…

23 March 2004

Illustrated in colour on the catalogue cover of Clevedon Salerooms’ March 4 sale was a watercolour described as being by Richard Parkes Bonington (1801-1828).

Sisterly seamstress sentiments help to sell samplers

16 March 2004

IN addition to technical excellence, decorative appeal and early date, sentiment is an important player in the sampler market.

When Newlyn is still a prize catch...

16 March 2004

WITH collectors’ taste in Modern British art shifting in recent years from pre-war to post-war, the once all-conquering Newlyn School has not generated as many headline-stealing results as it did in the late 1980s.

Scot tops the international scene at Sussex sale

13 February 2004

Scottish, Greek and Australian subjects gave a welcome international feel to the main highlights among the pictures offered on the third day of Gorringes’ (15% buyer’s premium) January 27-29 sale in Lewes.

Withdrawn Canadian views go home

11 November 2003

WITHDRAWN from sale at the eleventh hour, a recently-discovered portfolio of late 18th century topographical watercolours of Canada have been sold by private treaty to Library and Archives Canada and the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec.

Promised Land fulfils its promise at £13,800

16 October 2003

Exceptional subjects still have the capacity to fetch exceptional prices, as the Bury St Edmunds auctioneers Lacy Scott & Knight (10% buyer’s premium) discovered when this unsigned and unattributed 19th century watercolour came under the hammer on September 20 with an estimate of £250-400.

Pooh, Piglet and Toad the washerwoman

30 June 2003

A watercolour and drawings sale held by Bonhams on June 10 included a small group of E.H. Shepard illustrations from the estate of the late Jean Ames, who as Jean Gourlay had befriended the artist during the late 1930s and early 1940s, prior to his second marriage, and though the saleroom was non-committal on the matter, it is possible that these versions were specially made by Shepard for Miss Ames.

Multi-million pound deal struck in row over Blake watercolours folio

14 February 2003

A secondhand bookshop in Glasgow and two Yorkshire dealers are celebrating a windfall of several million pounds after settling their dispute over the ownership of a lost cache of William Blake watercolours. The folio of 19 illustrations for Robert Blair’s poem, The Grave, one of the most exciting “finds” in art market history, have been sold through London art dealer Libby Howie, acting on behalf of an anonymous collector, for an estimated £4.9m.

Dispute keeps lost Blakes under cover

09 September 2002

A second hand bookshop in Glasgow and two dealers are locked in a legal dispute over the ownership of a lost cache of William Blake watercolours, valued at over £1m.

Value leap is par for the course

27 August 2002

Golf has always been a subject that can have a dramatic effect on the price levels of artists who normally make little impact in the salerooms. Take the case of Frank Watson Wood (1862-1953), a Berwick-on-Tweed watercolourist who specialised in landscapes and marines, the best examples of which fetch around £1500 at auction.

Sir Henry’s timely bow

14 August 2002

WITH the Proms season now upon us it seems fitting that a portrait of the founder of the famous concerts, Sir Henry Wood, topped the pictures on offer at Bonhams Oxford (17.5% buyer’s premium) on June 25.

A peace mission in watercolour

07 August 2002

FRANCE: Millon & Associés (17.5/ 13.5% buyer’s premium) June 26 sale included two watercolours taken from an album of drawings by Eugene Delacroix, which the artist presented to Count Charles de Mornay on their return from Morocco in 1832.

The indomitable Herr Kerner and his 144 bunches of grapes…

05 July 2002

It is believed that only two copies of Johann Simon Kerner’s Le Raisin, ses espèces et variétées… were completed, but then this German botanist did make it hard work for himself in choosing to illustrate it with original watercolours.

Prince Charles watercolours unmasked as forgeries after sale

24 June 2002

FELLOWS and Sons, the Birmingham auctioneers, have refunded the buyers of three watercolours sold as the work of Prince Charles last week after the pictures were revealed as forgeries.

Venus puts buyers on 17th century watch

17 April 2002

Two small locally consigned lots provided the best seller and cover lot at the buoyant March 23 sale held by Michael J. Bowman (15% buyer’s premium) at Chudleigh Town Hall.

The coming woman – and one to watch out for

17 April 2002

THE names of two women artists, one very well known, the other undeservedly obscure, provided talking points at two provincial sales in March.