William Scott, Four Pears, 1976, sold by John Swarbrooke for a six-figure sum on the preview day of London Art Fair.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It was offered by first-time exhibitor John Swarbrooke Fine Art, which took a six-figure sum for the work on the event’s preview day.

Running from January 17-21 at Islington’s Business Design Centre, the fair hosted more than 120 exhibitors specialising in Modern British and Contemporary art including Freya Mitton, Christopher Kingzett Fine Art, Harry Moore-Gwyn, Architectural Heritage and Piano Nobile.

Though the event has a largely Contemporary focus, with several special exhibitions devoted to the work of newer or emerging artists, the presence of Modern works was strong this year.

It was enhanced by a loan show of works by the Bloomsbury Group resulting from the fair’s partnership with Charleston. The event also enticed dealership Liss Llewellyn to take a stand this year, despite having not exhibited at any fairs for several years. It brought its distinctive style to the show, exhibiting a huge range of Modern British artworks. This was something of an experiment for director Paul Liss who dubbed the results “fantastic”.

He said the firm would not stand there again as organisers “want dealers who hang on a line, which is not really our style and we want to concentrate on museum shows going forward”. Even so, it parted with 20 works plus two reserved by a museum and one requested for loan.

Liss added: “If you are going to be stuck in the same place for six days, this is a great space to be in.”