Alastair penwork for Wilde’s The Birthday of the Infanta, £7500 at Forum.

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Working in the decadent style pioneered by Aubrey Beardsley and other artists of his circle, Alastair’s fame spread with the 10 full-page drawings he contributed to a 1920 printing of Oscar Wilde’s The Sphinx and the illustrations provided for a 1922 copy of Salome.

The original Alastair penwork illustration offered in the Forum (26/25/20/12.5% buyer’s premium) February 15 auction of Modern Literature, Children’s & Illustrated Books was one he produced for the Black Sun Press 1928 printing of Wilde’s 1891 novel The Birthday of the Infanta.

Described as “a scarce example of [Alastair’s] fine penwork”, it came for sale from a private collector who had acquired it at auction in 1997. It hammered for £7500 against an estimate of £800-1200.