With our 'Paint. Print. Sculpt.' Sale in full swing, our team of passionate Modern & Contemporary Art specialists share their top lots.
9 August 2023
Amy Scanlon, Head of Modern & Contemporary Art
One of my top picks is A View of the Garden by Margaret Green. I love the atmosphere she has created; with the misty background very reminiscent of an English garden on a crisp morning.
Born in Hartlepool, County Durham, Margaret was eager to become an artist following a childhood meeting with Patrick Heron. She won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art between 1944 and 1947, then at its wartime home in the Lake District, where she met her partner, fellow artist Lionel Bulmer.
They took up residence initially in London and later moved to their beloved house near Stowmarket in Suffolk. We believe the garden of this home is depicted in the present lot. The greenery has been executed with confidence and delicacy, with the vivid grass juxtaposing the softer foliage in the background. The couple were passionate about their rural retreat and both captured its surroundings in their artwork.
Estimated at just £300-400, this is an affordable piece by an accomplished Modern British Artist. Sworders sold a larger painting of the same view of the garden for £1100 hammer earlier this year.
Margaret Green (1925-2003) A view of a garden, possibly the artist's home near Stowmarket in Suffolk (£300-400)
Marianne Richardson, Picture Department Cataloguer
My favourite work from our August Paint.Print.Sculpt auction is a Mary Fedden print titled ‘Pot of Shells’; a colourful lithograph which evokes nostalgic memories of beachcombing and the delight of finding shells to keep and treasure.
A prominent British painter whose career spanned over seven decades, Mary Fedden is known for her vibrant and charming still life paintings. In 1958 she became the first female painting tutor at the Royal College of Art, and she was elected to the Royal Academy in 1992.
In ‘Pot of Shells’ Fedden transforms everyday objects into an enchanting scene imbued with joyful simplicity. In this carefully considered composition the eye is immediately drawn to the meticulously arranged collection of seashells; their natural beauty delicately rendered and elevated using pattern and texture. The interplay of light and and shadow adds depth, while Fedden’s use of harmonious pastel hues and vivid pink infuses the print with energy and warmth.
The print offered for sale is numbered 41 from a limited edition of 70, another of which is held in the Prints and Drawings room at Tate Britain, viewable only by appointment. Created in 1971, the print has a timeless and enduring appeal that would be equally well suited to either a modern or traditional interior and it is remarkable that a print held in a collection as prestigious as the Tate's is available to buy at auction with an estimate of only £300-400.
Mary Fedden RA (1915-2012) 'Pot of Shells' (£300-400)
Amelia Hone, Picture Department Assistant
My favourite piece in our Paint. Print. Sculpt timed art sale is Lot 44, a ceramic piece by John Piper titled ‘Idea from Grotesque Architecture by William Wright, 1767’ it is a striking testament to Pipers unique artistic vision and deep appreciation for history. Drawing inspiration from the intricate patterns and whimsical elements of the 18th century grotesque architecture, Piper skilfully translates these motifs onto clay, breathing new life into a bygone era. The piece showcases Piper’s meticulous attention to detail, with every curve and line meticulously crafted to capture the essence of the original architectural designs. The fusion of historical reference and modern ceramic artistry exemplifies Piper’s ability to bridge the gap between the past and the modern age, creating a captivating and thought-provoking work of art that invites viewer to explore the rich tapestry of art and history. It is wonderful to see a piece of pottery by John Piper as these do not come up at auction very often. It’s a piece that would work well in a modern or traditional interior as it sits astride both eras.
John Piper CH (1903-1992) 'Idea from Grotesque Architecture by William Wright, 1767' (£400-600)
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A fine commode, believed to be by John Cobb (1715-1778), arguably one of England's greatest furniture makers, comes up for sale in Dick Turpin | The Legend Lives On to be held on 25 January.
7 December 2023
Sworders are pleased to present a selection of antique and vintage textiles in our December Fine Interiors sale, including items from the collection of the late Hildegard Heygate.
4 December 2023
It is with great pleasure that we announce that Emma Barnett has been appointed as Head of Department with responsibility for the future development of our Homes and Interiors sales – Emma has been with Sworders for some time, but as she now moves into this pivotal role, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce her to you.
30 November 2023