Rowland Hilder painting star lot

An evocative oil on canvas entitled Old barn and winter trees on the Isle of Grain, North Kent painted and signed by Rowland Hilder (1905-1993), the English landscape artist and book illustrator, was the star lot in a recent sale at Mallams Cheltenham. The painting sailed well above its £1,000-£2,000 estimate, with the hammer eventually falling at £4000 to a UK online bidder.

Rowland Hilder - Old barn and winter trees on the Isle of Grain North Kent

The Hilder painting was consigned to Mallams Cheltenham at one of the auctioneer’s regular Tuesday valuation mornings, by a collector who purchased it at a local gallery many years before.

Other oil paintings that performed well were Fowey Harbour signed and dated 1972 by Fred Yates (1922-2008), which made double top estimate at £2,400; and Farm workers on a hillside, painted by Pierre Adolphe Valette (1876-1942), which sold for £1500. This Valette painting had interesting provenance having been featured in a 1991 Christie’s South Kensington Sale entitled Modern British and Continental Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Sculpture – Including a collection of works by Adolphe Valette.

Fred Yates - Fowey Harbour

Contemporary furniture always proves popular and a ‘Veranda’ black leather, adjustable three seater sofa made for Cassina by the Italian designer and architect, Vico Magistretti (1920-2006) achieved £3,000 against a £500-£800 estimate.

Vico Magistretti for Cassina Veranda black leather sofa

Studio pottery enthusiasts were clearly in evidence at the sale, with two pieces by Richard Batterham (1936-2021) being highly contested. Batterham was one of the most revered potters of his time and one of the finest exponents of thrown stoneware pottery. No surprise then that when a tall studio pottery vase with an ash glaze, came up for auction, bidders were keen to secure the lot, pushing it above its £1,000-£2,000 estimate to a final winning bid of £2,200 from a private UK bidder.

A tall studio pottery vase by Richard Batterham

Another Batterham piece, this time a cut-sided vase, with ash and tenmoku glaze also exceeded expectations, going for £1,500, almost double top estimate, to another UK collector.

 Cut-sided vase by Richard Batterham

Chloe Wood, the sale specialist said “Almost every lot in the sale came from a private source and was fresh to the market, which was very appealing to collectors. We also had a good mix of items and estimates which attracted a wide range of buyers.”