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56 12th March 2011 art market


Above: an Indian scene catalogued as 19th century Continental School – £7400 at Sworders. Right: landscape by Theodore Rousseau – £10,500 at the same sale.


European competition sees battle for Rousseau


TWO small 19th century Continental paintings were the two top lots in the picture section at Sworders’ (20% buyer’s premium) country house sale at Stansted Mountfitchet on February 22. A landscape at dusk by Pierre-Etienne-Theodore


Rousseau (1812-1867) came to the sale from a local source with a connection to the artist and art historian Sir William Rothenstein, although it was unclear whether this work had actually been owned by Sir William who was head of the Royal College of Art in the 1920s.


Modern debut in Cheltenham attracts bids from afar


INTERNATIONAL interest also emerged outside London last month with bidding from as far afield as Russia and Australia at the February 24 fine art sale held by Tayler & Fletcher (15% buyer’s premium) in Cheltenham. For the first time, the auctioneers


offered a specialist section of Modern art and design which drew the biggest crowd ever for a preview staged at the Gloucestershire saleroom. The 134 lots came from a mixture


of vendors, although the most valuable works came from a single consignment of around 25 works from a private Cheltenham collector. This included the top lot – Seaside


Afternoon, an abstract nude by Paine Proffitt (b.1972) which was featured on the front cover of the catalogue and made £1100. The Arizona-born artist, who is now


based in the UK, has a certain following which includes the singer star Robbie Williams who has bought a number of his works. The 2ft 4in x 23in (72 x 58cm) oil and acrylic on canvas laid on board at Tayler


Right: Seaside Afternoon by Paine Proffitt – £1100 at the same sale. Above: Archie, artist’s proof by Govinder Nazran – £170 at Tayler & Fletcher.


& Fletcher was less familiar than his sports pictures (some of which have been exhibited at Twickenham’s Museum of Rugby and the National Football Museum in Preston). Nevertheless, it brought decent interest against a £800-1000 estimate and sold to a UK private buyer. Even with the busy private viewing


before the sale, however, the same level of bidding did not emerge on the potential stars of the sale – seven original oil paintings by Govinder Nazran (1964- 2008) estimated between £6000 and £20,000. Works by the Birmingham-born artist, who specialised in highly-stylised images


Depicting a figure seated beneath a tree and cattle


by a pond, the signed 8¾ x 11¾in (22 x 30cm) oil on panel was typical of the many naturalistic studies the French painter made of the area around the Forest of Fontainebleau. Estimated at £4000-6000, it saw interest from France but sold at £10,500 to the London trade. Also bringing a good level of bidding in the sale was


an unattributed and unframed painting of men resting by a pond which had been consigned by a private source though Sworders’ Hertford office.


Depicting an Indian scene, the 12½ x 9¼in (32 x


23.5cm) oil on board was catalogued as a 19th century Continental school picture and estimated at £800-1200. But with the poses of the four figures making for an


interesting composition, the handling of light deemed appealing and being in overall decent condition, it caught the eye of a number of interested parties and was taken well over estimate. It was finally knocked down at £7400 to an unknown


buyer.


of animals (particularly cats, dogs and elephants) and died in a tragic accident three years ago, have sold for five-figure sums in the past, but here none found takers against reserves that were too high for the current market level. All four lower-value limited edition


sculptures by Nazran however did manage to get away, with the highest


price being the below-estimate £170 seen for Archie – a 9¾ x 13in (25 x 33cm) artist’s proof of a supple red feline which was from an edition of 50 and came with a certificate of authenticity. Tayler & Fletcher will repeat the


exercise of featuring a special Modern art offering as part of their fine art sale on October 27.


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