John Piper abstract is top lot in sale

A rare six-foot abstract work by John Piper (1903-1992) Painting, 1936 (Forms on Dark Blue), was the top lot at Bonhams’ Modern British & Irish Art sale on June 19 at Bonhams New Bond Street, London.

John Piper C.H. (British, 1903-1992) Painting, 1936 (Forms on Dark Blue) 

The work, which was believed to be lost, had remained in the same important family collection since its execution and had never before been offered at auction. Largely unseen for six decades, it achieved £317,900.

The 101-lot sale achieved a total of £3,944,890.

Ingram Reid, Bonhams Head of Sale, commented: “The six-foot canvas of John Piper’s Painting, 1936 (Forms on Dark Blue) was among British art’s most ambitious paintings of the 1930s, both in conception and legacy. Paintings from Piper’s lauded abstract period are extremely rare, and we’re very pleased that this work has now found a new home. We are also delighted to have achieved such impressive results for works by other modernist pioneers, including Dame Barbara Hepworth, and a new world auction record for a work by Tristram Hillier.”
Other highlights of the sale included:

Dame Barbara Hepworth (British, 1903-1975), Maquette for Walk-In. 24.7 cm. (9 3/4 in.) high Conceived in 1970 and cast by Morris Singer in 1971. Sold for £254,400.

Tristram Hillier R.A. (British, 1905-1983), Fin de Saison, 60.4 x 81.1 cm. (23 3/4 x 31 7/8 in.). Sold for £165,500 against an estimate of £50,000 – 80,000. A new auction world record for a work by the artist.

John Craxton R.A. (British, 1922-2009), Goatherd and Goat. 127 x 104 cm. (50 x 40 in.). Sold for £203,600.

John Craxton R.A. (British, 1922-2009) Goatherd and Goat

Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011), Boy and animals in a landscape, 26.4 x 32.3 cm. (10 3/8 x 12 5/8 in.) (Executed circa 1942). Sold for £279,800.

Lucian Freud (British, 1922-2011), Boy and animals in a landscape