The Tennants (20% buyer’s premium) sale on September 19 offered a sculpture of a diving otter by Martin Hayward-Harris (b.1959).
The artist specialises in limited editions of animals, with otters, hares and birds being among the most popular. Examples can be found in some important collections including The National Museum of Wales, The Woburn Estate and The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.
Hayward-Harris states on his website that he aims to create works with “fluidity and purity of line” and is “fascinated by primitive visceral interpretations of the natural world and man’s relationship with nature in the modern day”.
The 22½in (57cm) high bronze otter with ferric patina at Tennants was from a monogrammed edition of 10 and was estimated at £3000-5000.
It took £7000 from a private buyer, the second-highest price for the artist at auction, only behind another bronze of a standing otter that made £8000 at Christie’s in May 2000.
A decent sum also came at Bonhams on September 16 for a small sculpture of a bullfinch by Geoffrey Dashwood (b.1947).
The 5¾in (14.5cm) bronze sculpture with a black, red and grey patina was a life-size representation of the colourful bird and had featured in an exhibition of Dashwood’s sculptures of New Forest birds in Lymington in 2017. It was acquired by a member of the vendor’s family in the same year.
Estimated at £1500-2000, it sold at £2800. Although the artist’s larger sculptures of herons or red kites can make up to £9000, this was a solid sum for a work on this scale.