Philip Wilson Steer painting leads sale

A sought-after work by the British artist Philip Wilson Steer will appear on the open market for the first time since 1986 when it is offered in London auction house Roseberys’ March sale.

Artworks from the Collection of Bernard Sheridan
Artworks from the Collection of Bernard Sheridan

The auction house said that the painting is included in one of their strongest ever selections of early Modern British artworks and includes important examples fresh to the market.

Philip Wilson Steer’s Miss Montgomery, c.1907-08, was originally owned by the eminent collector of earlyModern British art, Major E. O. Kay (Edwin Ody Kay 1885–1969). 

An early landscape by Sir Kyffin Williams Farm Mynydd Bodafon, c.1950s, one of the artist’s iconic and much loved depictions of Anglesea, will also be going under the hammer. The work has been in the same family collection for decades and is accompanied by a copy of a letter handwritten by the artist.

Sir Kyffin Williams Farm Mynydd Bodafon

Elsewhere, Adrian Heath’s early masterpiece Composition No.2 Brown & Black, 1954 is another highlight. This is a brilliant example of the artists Constructivist style of the mid-1950s, made at an important time for the artist as he was organising the publication of Nine British Abstract Artists written by Lawrence Alloway and the related landmark group exhibition at the Redfern Gallery in 1955.

The sale also includes an impressive and varied amount of private collections. Firstly, works from the Collection of Bernard Sheridan (1927-2007),which includes important works by Wyndham Lewis, Dame Ethel Walker and Duncan Grant. Bernard Sheridan was a highly successful solicitor, representing clients across various fields from the entertainment industry to human rights.

Sheridan was described as ‘a fierce negotiator with a strong social conscience’ and often challenged the might of the music industry in his work. High profile clients included Pink Floyd, Kate Bush and Damien Hirst, but Sheridan’s most important case was led against the British Government and concerned the Chagos Islanders exiled to Mauritius in 1971. This case went on for 10 years and the Court of Appeal only found in Sheridan’s favour days before his death.

Roseberys will also be selling the Collection of Paul Clarke, which includes beautiful works by Mary Fedden, her husband JulianTrevelyan and Jack Jones. Works from a Private Collector of Bloomsbury-related works, which includes rare pieces by Nina Hamnett, Anne Estelle Rice and Gertrude Hermes, will also be included in the sale.

Painting by Mary Fedden

Additionally, Roseberys will be selling works from the Estate of the sculptor Alfred Horace Gerrard and his wife, the painter Katherine Leigh-Pemberton, and the collection of art historian Kristian Romare which includes an early work by Franciska Clausen. 

Contemporary highlights will include an early work by Larry Rivers Don’t Fall, 1966 (lot 401) and a piece by Dan Colen’s The Swirl, 2006 from a solo show with Gagosian of the same year. A Subway drawing by Keith Haring, Snake through three men (Subway Drawing), c.1980 will also go under the hammer.