Qypsy Queen caravans in a Sussex Meadow, a relatively early work from 1927, had a dedication to Phyllis in the lower right. This was a reference to the Oxfordshire vendor’s mother Phyllis Pitcairn Gage-Brown, who was a childhood friend of Paul Odo Cross, the son of an American heiress and a close friend of Morris at that time.
Gage-Brown owned one of the caravans in the picture and Odo Cross the other.
At the time the picture was painted, Morris was working from a studio at Great Ormond Street and had joined the Seven and Five Society of London painters and sculptors – two years before he would move to rural Suffolk.
The oil on canvas measured 18 x 23¼in (46 x 59cm) and was offered unframed.
At the auction on June 10, it sold within estimate at £18,000 and was knocked down to a private buyer on thesaleroom.com.
An even earlier work by Morris at the sale came from the estate of Tony Venison (see Art Market main story this edition).
Senegalese Boy was painted during a holiday in Tizi-Ouzou, Algeria, in 1921, one of a number of studies of the local people and well before he turned his main attention to flora and landscapes. Estimated at £5000-7000, it sold to a different buyer at £8200.