The second highest price paid for a picture by ‘pitman painter’ Norman Cornish, entitled ‘General Bar Scene, Spennymoor‘, was achieved with a hammer price of £16,000 at Tennants‘ recent Summer Fine Art sale in Yorkshire.
The 1950 picture came with provenance from the University of Northumbria, and was sold by a private collector from the north east of England. The mixed media composition, measuring 52cm by 81cm, carried an estimate of £12,000 to £15,000.
It features a number of men drinking in a pub in Spennymoor, the town in county Durham where the artist was born. A social scene, the men sit in groups chatting around tables or at the bar, while one man plays darts, watched by a whippet.
Elsewhere in the sale, another image by the late painter also generated interest. Signed by Cornish, Figures before Eddy’s Fish and Chip Shop, in mixed media and measuring 27cm b 36.5cm was sold for £8,000.