A view of a farmhouse in the east Devon countryside made £60,000 at Dreweatts’ sale of the Robert Kime collection in October, the highest auction price for a landscape by the Hove-born artist, according to Artprice.com.
It was one of several strong sums at the sale which included some of the best ever prices for Bevan’s prints.
The day before the Kime sale kicked off in Newbury, a good bidding contest developed for another pencil and watercolour by the artist offered at Gorringe’s (25% buyer’s premium) of Lewes, East Sussex, on October 3.
A more familiar subject, it depicted a scene at the horse auction house Tattersall’s which, at the time, was based in Knightsbridge, London.
Measuring 11½ x 9¼in (29 x 24cm), this was a study for a slightly larger watercolour which was part of the Paul Mellon collection and is now held at the Yale Center for British Art.
Dating from 1921, the latter picture was executed at a time when Bevan had begun to focus on London’s cab-yards, mews and horse sales at the suggestion of fellow Camden Town Group founder member Walter Sickert.
The picture in East Sussex suffered from a few condition issues. These included some scattered dirt and fox marks, pin holes to the bottom margin and discolouring to the paper (especially to the edges where a mount had seemingly lay over the picture at a slight angle).
Nevertheless, bidders did not baulk at the £12,000-18,000 estimate and it was eventually knocked down on top estimate. The sum stood between two previous results for Bevan watercolours showing Tattersall’s: a larger one that made £30,000 at Sotheby’s in 2019 and a smaller example that made £10,000 at Christie’s in 2000.