Bridget Riley print leads sale

Works by the likes of Sir Cedric Morris, Bridget Riley and Graham Sutherland far exceeded their pre-sale estimates at a recent Art & Design Sale at Cambridgeshire auctioneers Cheffins.

The auction saw 636 lots go under the hammer, with the highest price paid on the day being £44,000 for a signed print of Firebird by Bridget Riley (1931-), against an estimate of £18,000. This was followed by a still life of an autumnal bouquet by Sir Cedric Lockwood Morris (1889–1982), which achieved £26,500, alongside a portrait of Sir Cedric Morris by his student, Vivian Gribble (1888–1932), which was sold for £12,500 against an estimate of £3,000. These headline results were followed by a work by Graham Sutherland (1903–1980), which achieved £11,000 and a collection of pieces by Zdzislaw Ruszkowski which made £26,000.

Elsewhere, a collection of items which belonged to the late sculpture and graphic artist Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) were sold for £14,000. Consigned from the estate of Freda Paolozzi, Eduardo Paolozzi’s ex-wife, the collection included a number of never-before-seen items, such as a copper and brass table lamp, designed by Paolozzi, which achieved £1,164. Also, among the objects, a pair of Georg Jensen silver candlesticks sold for £7,100 and a stunning example of a Sir Ambrose Heal for Heal & Son chestnut ‘Owl’ suite sold for £6,000.

Brett Tryner, Director, Cheffins, said: “20th-century art and design is continuing to hold the market’s focus, as works by some of the greats of the period see consistently rising prices. Sir Cedric Morris is particularly popular at the moment, as are works by any members of the Suffolk-based Benton End Group. Similarly, the great designers of the mid-century, from both the UK and abroad, are seeing a growing fanbase, as buyers look to the stalwarts of design for timeless and quality pieces of furniture. This has brought with it growing prices for the likes of Heal & Son. This sale saw hundreds of buyers take part, both here in the auction room and also online, and we were thrilled to welcome almost 150 new buyers to the sale. We are now seeing an average of over 60 brand new buyers here at Cheffins at every sale, as our auctions continue to be an exciting and sustainable hunting ground for art, antiques and collectables.”