Brighton Pier, first edition, by Edward Bawden – £8500 at Cheffins.

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The English artist produced two editions of the distinctive print 20 years apart, which shows the pier framed by the familiar domes of the seaside town’s famous Royal Pavilion and the architectural details of a Regency townhouse.

Offered in the sale of artworks from the Hertfordshire County Council collection at Cheffins (also see main story) was Bawden’s first edition linocut, made in an edition of 40 in 1958 while he was living in Brighton. Measuring 22in x 4ft 9in (55cm x 1.47m), the prints were too large for the studio press so Bawden made them on the floor using his feet. Guided at £4000-6000, this example sold for £8500 to a private buyer.

Subtle variations


Brighton Pier, second edition, by Bawden – £9000 at Sotheby’s.

A day before on March 20, Sotheby’s (25/20/13.9% buyer’s premium) Made in Britain sale in London featured a well-preserved second edition linocut produced in 1977 in an edition of 50. This version varies in subtle ways including the general use of colouring, the pattern of the waves and the word Palace, which is black in the first edition and white in the second.

The linocut made £9000 against a £5000-7000 estimate.

On the secondary market, there has been a three-fold increase in value across both editions since 2000. There is a slight mark-up for first editions but, like all works on paper, condition and the crispness of the print is paramount to value.

In 2011, Bonhams sold an impeccably preserved first edition linocut for £13,000 while Mellors & Kirk sold another first edition example described as in ‘excellent untouched condition’ for £11,000 in 2016.