The 40-lot group kicked off the sale on December 8 offering an international mix of modern pictures, including examples by Alphonse Quizet, John Bratby, Guy Johnson and David Cheepen, as well as several strong examples of Mod Brit sculpture.
The latter group included two highly desirable bronze works by Lynn Chadwick (1914-2003): a 15in (39cm) high Maquette VII Walking Couple (1976) made in an edition of eight, and 7in (19cm) bronze Bird VIII (1959), from an edition of three. The two works were acquired for the collection some three decades ago, the former costing £10,000 at Sotheby’s in 1993.
The walking couple – one of Chadwick’s most enduring and recognisable subjects – was knocked down at Roseberys for £78,000, well over its £35,000- 45,000 estimate, while the bronze bird realised £22,000 against a £10,000-15,000 guide.
Also sparking decent demand was the appearance of a small folk-art landscape by the prolific American artist Grandma Moses (1860-1961).
Moses was 77 when she began her painting career, inspired by the bucolic landscape and villages of rural East Coast America. “What’s the use of painting a picture if it isn’t something nice?” she once asked. By the time of her death at 101 she had produced an estimated 1600 paintings.
The 8 x 10in (20 x 26 cm) oil on canvas Kenyon Old House is a classic example of Moses’s all-American subject showing a characterful wooden house situated among trees.
Adding to its appeal was provenance to legendary dealer Sidney Janis, whose gallery was an early exhibitor of the Abstract Expressionists, as well as Modern European masters. Janis included Grandma Moses’ work in the show Contemporary Unknown American Painters at the Museum of Modern Art in 1939, which brought her national attention.
Estimated at £5000-8000, Kenyon Old House was eventually knocked down for £18,000.
Elsewhere, the 10 x 15in (25 x 39cm) oil on canvas Baigneuses dans un paysage, a late bathing scene by Andre Derain (1880-1954), sold for a multi-estimate £40,000. Fresh to market, it had passed by descent from the collection of Stefanos Zifos, the stepson of Greek ship-owner Alexander Michalinos, who spent most of his life in Paris.
Bathers was a subject matter Derain explored frequently over the course of his lifetime. This late example, c.1946-50, is executed in the classical style that he adopted after the First World War and his involvement with Fauvism.