Contents from George Club in Christie’s sale

The selected contents of a much-loved London private members’ club are going under the hammer in an online charity sale at Christie’s.

George: Twenty Years in Mayfair, benefitting The Caring Family Foundation, will be open for bidding from 14-28 March. Conjuring the evocative atmosphere of the club, which has been at the heart of Mayfair life for the last 20 years, the sale comprises 71 lots focused entirely on the works that adorned the walls, spanning Modern British art, prints, posters and photography.

'I'm A Rare Bear' by Tracey Emin

The collection is led by Tracey Emin’s unique blue and white neon I’m a Rare Bear, 2014 which was previously auctioned for charity at Christie’s by Emin herself, with an estimate of £70,000-£100,000. Further highlights include the original Dachshund linocut designed for George by Hugo Guinness, which became the club’s much loved logo, estimated at £300-£500; a notable array of prints and exhibition posters by David Hockney, ski and travel posters by Emil Cardinaux, photographs by Slim Aarons and drawings by Ernest Howard Shepard, the acclaimed illustrator of Winnie the Pooh.

The sale comes ahead of the club re-opening in summer 2023 having been temporarily closed for refurbishment. Richard Caring said: “Patricia (Caring) and I have worked long and hard to create what, we hope, will be a beautiful site for George, which should now be the image and impression that it truly deserves. Some of the most spectacular paintings, drawings and decorations from George have been taken down and put into this auction with all proceeds going to The Caring Family Foundation. The money raised will go towards our continued efforts to tackle domestic abuse, child poverty and reforestation in the UK and Brazil, with our core focus remaining on women and children across these areas.”

The Earl of Snowdon, Honorary Chairman, Christie’s EMEA, said: “Christie’s is delighted to offer works of art which adorned the walls of George Club in the heart of Mayfair. From Tracey Emin’s neon ‘I’m a rare bear’ to the extensive collection of David Hockney prints and posters, these works will all be sold to benefit the brilliant Caring Family Foundation which works towards alleviating child hunger, domestic abuse and deforestation.”

Etching by David Hockney from his Dog Wall series

The sale will present different print making techniques from etchings and linocuts to woodcuts and mezzotints spanning a broad array of subject matter works, including fourteen etchings by David Hockney of his delightful Dog Wall series, offered individually with estimates of £3,000-5,000 each; a linocut set of four botanical studies with estimates of £800-1,200; and The George Club Mascot by Hugo Guinness estimated at £300-500; and State Security, a woodcut, signed and dated in pencil by Nicholas Garland (B. 1935), with an estimate of £150-250.

Winter in Davos vintage ski poster

The posters from the club provide a visual feast in their own right. Early travel and ski posters are led by Winter in Davos, a lithograph from 1914, by Burkhard Mangold (1873-1950), estimated at £10,000-15,000; and L’Hiver en Suisse, a lithograph from 1921 by Emil Cardinaux (1877-1936), with an estimate of £8,000-£12,000.
Exhibition posters feature a wide array after David Hockney including, David Hockney a Retrospective, Los Angeles County Museum Art, 1988, signed in black ink, offset lithographic poster, with £600-£800 estimate; Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, signed in black ink, offset lithographic poster, estimate of £1,000-£1,500; and David Hockney: A Retrospective, The Metropolitan Museum of Art June 18 – August 14, 1988, offset lithographic poster carrying an estimate of £400-£600.

Photography of Groucho Marx in bed

Drawing and photographs includ eErnest Howard Shepard, O.B.E., M.C. (1879-1976), A circus scene, signed ‘Ernest H. Shepard and inscribed ‘reproduced in Punch Jan 3rd 1934’ (lower right), black ink heightened with white, estimate of £500-£800); Neil Forster (1940-2016), Study for a chimpanzee, pencil on paper, estimated at £400-£600); gelatin silver prints: Groucho Marx by Slim Aarons (1916–2006), estimated at £800-£1,200) and The Kings of Hollywood attributed to Slim Aarons with a £800-1,200 estimate.