As with the Sworders sale, a landscape by Cedric Morris (1889-1982) brought interest – although here the subject was Morocco rather than France. The 22¾in x 2ft 4in (58 x 71cm) oil on canvas depicted the Atlas Mountains and was probably painted on a summer trip between 1918-26.
It came from a private vendor and was estimated at £8000-12,000. Selling at £19,500 to a UK buyer at the auction on October 23, it surpassed the price for the Sworders picture and took its position as the fourth-highest selling landscape by the artist.
Also at L&T, a well-crafted interior scene by William Ratcliffe (1870-1955) was also on offer.
The Red Curtain was an interesting picture by an artist whose works do not become available very often and it had many trademark features associated with both the artist and the Camden Town group, of which he was a leading light. Dating from c.1916, it was thought it depicted a room at the home of Stanley and Signe Parker in Letchworth Garden City where the artist was staying during this period.
Although it sold on low estimate at £20,000 to a UK buyer, the price represented the fourth-highest auction sum for the artist in this case too.
Meanwhile, a good reaction greeted a group of lots that came from a descendant of the illustrator and satirical cartoonist Ronald Searle (1920-2011). All of the works sold for a combined £11,350.
Uppermost among them was a self-portrait which had featured on the back cover of the artist’s 1951 St Trinian’s book (titled Back To The Slaughterhouse, and Other Ugly Moments).
The 16¾ x 8in (28cm x 21cm) signed pen and ink on paper drew a strong competition against a pitch of £700-900. Selling at £4400 to a UK buyer, it made one of higher prices for the artist, whose St Trinian’s sketches have a significant collecting base.