Paintings, prints and artistic treasures

WHO knows what wonderful artistic treasure is innocently hanging on walls across the Midlands or languishing in lofts, writes David Fergus.

Some people may inherit a piece of art, the signature is indecipherable and they have no idea what it is.

But remember, your nan and granddad were once hip and trendy! The art they might have collected could turn out to be something really special – and these treasures are out there waiting to be discovered!

I shan’t forget a phenomenal collection of modern art which had been stored in a Burntwood lock-up for 12 years.

Amongst it was an abstract oil painting titled ‘Artist and Curtain’ by Roy Oxlade (British 1929-2014), detail pictured above left.

Taking it to sale in September 2019, this was only the third time this particular piece had appeared at auction and there was a fierce bidding battle to a £9,000 hammer price.

It’s the best-ever for Roy Oxlade by some distance – the previous highest price for an Oxlade was £2,000 in 2007. So, from a lock-up in Burntwood to achieving a world record price!

Funnily enough, the client previously achieved a record price of £3,200 for a 1963 abstract, ‘Guyana X’, by Aubrey Williams (Guyanese 1926-1990) from the same collection in another of our Fine Art sales.

Other more leftfield originals sold recently include two abstract oils on canvas by Mali Morris, a British artist born in 1945, fetching £2,200 and £1,700, and an abstract study of a blue head by Karel Appel, which realised £5,000, detail pictured above right.

READ MORE: Snappy sales at September Fine Art

Changing tack but staying modern, six paintings by the popular contemporary Argentinian artist Fabian Perez fetched £18,400 earlier this year.

In terms of prints, a perennial favourite at auction is LS Lowry. His art has never been more popular; at auction his oil paintings now regularly make several million pounds – increasing the price of limited edition signed prints.

One such lithograph of ‘Peel Park, Salford’ from 1975, pictured top, was a perfect example of the artist’s trademark industrial scenes and matchstick people and it sold for £3,200 in September 2019.

In fact, some say the Lowry market is at a possible peak – so if you have a print you’re considering selling, now could be a canny time to do so.

Other artists in terms of prints to look out for include Patrick Caulfield, Patrick Heron (an abstract limited edition print of “Winchester Red 1” made £4,600 at auction with us in December 2019), Eileen Cooper and Sir Terry Frost.

We offer free valuations every Tuesday between 9.30am and 4pm at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park WS13 8NF, and there's always a dedicated pictures section in our regular Three Day Sales and Fine Arts & Specialist Sales with lots of 

READ MORE: Flying high at big December auction


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