Lawrences offered over 270 lots of pictures in their Spring Fine Art auction. The prints, watercolours and oils spanned five centuries and prices showed a reassuring strength in the market right across the board.
An etching by David Hockney of Maurice Payne (1971) was bought for £2270 and all the proceeds will go to a local charity, whilst two coloured woodcuts from a deceased estate in Dorset far exceeded recent auction prices for Charles Ginner’s work by making £2740. Highlights in the selection of watercolours could not have been more different. Six elegant and colourful gouaches by Christoph Ludwig Agricola (1667-1719) made £21,500 after some determined bidding and an expressive charcoal drawing by celebrated Cumbrian artist Sheila Fell (1931-1979) took £4780. A small charcoal study of geese by the eminent Impressionist artist Camille Pissarro was contested to £2980.
In the selection of oil paintings, two fine `Primitive` works of prize rams by Thomas Weaver offered sufficient rarity and quaint provincial charm to take a combined total of £13,100. An unusual triptych of `The Song of Solomon` in the style of Sir Edward Burne-Jones was bought for £4660; a rare bronze of `Sheila` by Sir Jacob Epstein made £4780; and a restful oil of a lady sewing by a window by Tom Gentleman took £4180. The two highest prices were reserved for very different outdoor subjects. One was an invigorating but elegant scene of the Leney family riding on a Kent beach on a bright and fresh day, painted by Heywood Hardy and offered for sale by a Somerset descendant. This made £56,100. A large, bitterly cold but beautifully atmospheric oil painting of sheep in an Aberdeenshire copse in a wintry twilight by Joseph Farquharson (1846-1935) attracted keen bidding before exceeding its £50,000-80,000 estimate to be bought for £145,700.
The total for the picture sale exceeded £400,000