The October 17 auction raised a hammer total of £190,440 with 115 of the 124 lots sold – a heathy-looking 93% selling rate.
Among the works making a useful contribution to the bottom line, although admittedly getting away under estimate, was a late Francis Bacon (1909-92) lithograph triptych.
Second Version, Triptych was a three-part work with each section measuring 2ft 3in x 20½in (68 x 52cm) and it certainly embodied the artist’s familiar themes of blood, flesh, contortion and angst.
It dated from the late 1980s when the ageing Bacon revisited some of his earlier works, in this case Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion from c.1944 (now in the Tate).
For his painted triptych he added a backdrop of blood red, but he also authorised two lithographic editions to be published in 1989 by IRCAM for the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris – a full-size version in an edition of 30 and this smaller-scale triptych in an edition of 60.
Estimated at £18,000-25,000, Second Version, Triptych sold at £17,000 to a private buyer in the north of England. While other examples of the edition of 60 have fetched more on a handful of occasions at auctions in London, the sum was identical to the price the very same triptych fetched at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions in July 2014.
Elsewhere at Tennants, a group of seven Bob Dylan (b.1941) prints were offered separately and all sold comfortably above their £500-700 estimates, making a combined £9700 hammer total.
The signed giclee prints were based on the singersongwriter’s ‘Drawn Blank’ series of pencil studies that were created when he was on tour between 1989-92. The sketches were published in a book of the same name in 1997 before later being worked up into a bolder and more vibrantly coloured run of prints in the late 2000s.
Uppermost among the group at Tennants was Fisherman, a 2ft x 18in (62 x 46cm) print from 2009. From an edition of 295, it was bid to £1500 and sold to a private buyer in the north of England.