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British Art Goes from Strength to Strength Made in Britain Sale

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    British Art Goes from Strength to Strength Made in Britain Sale

London, 16 March 2016 – Sotheby’s Made in Britain auction – the fourth sale of its kind, dedicated to celebrating the diversity and creativity of British art from 1900 to the present day – realised a total of £2,115,592, exceeding pre-sale expectations (est. £1,164,150-1,742,550). The artworks presented in this sale illustrated the significant role that Britain played in the development of modernism internationally – across Fine Art, Prints, Sculpture, Photography, Studio Ceramics, and Design.

The sale was led by Patrick Heron’s explosive exploration of colour Violet Painting with Orange, Lemon and Black: 1964, which sold for £87,500 (est. £40,000-60,000) and an intimate painting of Three Children by L.S. Lowry that brought £77,500 (est. £40,000-60,000). An important early vase by Grayson Perry was acquired by the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Nine artist records at auction were achieved*, including for painters Ian Davenport and Julian Trevelyan, photographers Mike Figgis and Patrick Lichfield, along with a benchmark for a work by Gary Bunt. Of almost 250 lots offered, 86.5% found buyers and over 72% of lots soared above their pre-sale high estimates. With estimates starting at just £200, the sale attracted more than 400 registrants, with 18% of the buyers new to Sotheby’s.

Works from the previously unseen collection of Michael Goff, the much-loved author and driving force behind the Booker prize, gave an insight to the art and literature of London in the 1950s. The group reached £333,750 (est. £157,400-243,500), led by hitherto unrecorded Garden of Gethsamane painted by David Bomberg in 1926 that brought £75,000 (est. £ 30,000-50,000).

The selection of photographs in the auction brought to life the glamorous worlds of British film, photography and fashion, selling for £148,125. Mike Figgis’ shot of Kate Moss descending a staircase in 2007 for lingerie brand Agent Provocateur sold for a record £22,500 (est. £8,000-12,000).

Ceramics in the sale achieved a grand total of £148,000 (est. £58,050-86,550), reaffirming the recent insatiable demand in the market for British studio ceramics. These were led by an important early vase by Grayson Perry, the brilliantly witty But What am I Supposed to Wear to the Surface Decoration Ball! (est. £20,000-30,000), and Dame Lucie Rie’s mesmerising Green Bowl with Oxide Decoration (est. £12,000-18,000), both of which soared above estimates to £40,000.

The exciting group of British prints included in the sale were led by Lucian Freud’s Garden in Winter, an intense depiction of nature that sold for £60,000. Two butterfly screenprints with diamond dust by Damien Hirst achieved a strong price at £37,500. The auction also revealed a lesser known side of celebrated sculptor Henry Moore, as one of Britain's greatest draughtsmen. An impressive group of works on paper and prints totalled an above estimate result of £55,256.

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  • Made in Britain 16 MARCH 2016
    Made in Britain 16 MARCH 2016
    Sotheby’s Auktionshaus