LONDON: Desirable works by significant artists from the Modern British canon will be offered for sale at Roseberys London on February 11.

The 393-lot Modern & Contemporary British Art auction will include a comprehensive works on paper section giving bidders the opportunity to buy art for relatively low sums by leading artists like LS Lowry, Peter Lanyon and Frank Auerbach. The section includes studies and sketches for known paintings and prints such as the two by the Grosvenor School artist Cyril Power. In addition, the auction will contain oil paintings and sculpture made by a range of 20th century artists based in Britain including two market-fresh abstract paintings by Richard Smith and material from the studio of late sculptor Geoffrey Harris.


The sale will give LS Lowry (1887-1976) collectors a rare opportunity to bid on a group of early drawings by the renowned northern industrial painter. Some of the five-lot group were completed under the tutelage of the French painter Adolphe Valette, as indicated by the artist’s careful inscription ‘av’, and a notation of how long the drawings took to complete. Their authenticity has been confirmed by Martin Summers, former Managing Director of the Lefevre Gallery, the dealership that held Lowry’s first one-man show in London and continued to represent the artist until his death. Prices range from £8,000 to £20,000. [Lot 102-106]

A watercolour of an Italian landscape by the St Ives artist Peter Lanyon (1918-1964), painted during the Second World War while he was serving as a flight mechanic with the Royal Air Force, carries hopes of £1,800-2,400. Lanyon was 25 when he first went to Italy in December 1943. He stayed for two years, in which time he learned Italian and travelled the southern provinces, drawing, painting and taking photographs. Italian landscape with houses has passed by descent from a private collection in St. Ives. [Lot 76]

Primrose Hill, the small park in north London whose paths culminate at a high point with a fine view over the city, has been the local green spot for German-British painter Frank Auerbach (b.1931) since the 1950s when he moved to his nearby studio in Camden. A 1960 study of the park in pencil and oil paint is on offer at £2,500-3,500. It has auction pedigree and was featured in Sotheby’s £2.7m auction of art from David Sylvester, Britain’s greatest post-war critic and curator of modern art. [Lot 91]

A widely exhibited oil painting of mackerel by the Camden Town Group painter Walter Sickert (1860-1942) carries hopes of £6,000-8,000. The signed still life was painted in Dieppe at the turn of the 20th century, before Sickert left for Venice in 1903. The artist became involved with Madame Villain, a divorced fishwife in Dieppe, who acted as both landlady and mistress to the artist. It was presumably from Villain that Sickert obtained the fish for this, and other still-life paintings of the period. [Lot 2]



Among Michael Ayrton’s (1921-75) chief inspirations was the myth of the ancient Greek craftsman Daedalus, who famously fashioned wings for his son Icarus. ‘At the apex of his climb, because mass is modified by its velocity, Icarus changed his form and the anatomy of this transformation obsesses me’, wrote Ayrton in 1961.  Icarus Transformed I, a twisted figural form in bronze from this period, is estimated at £3,000-5,000.  [Lot 188]

The sale contains a 12-lot collection of sculpture and archival material from the studio of the late sculptor Geoffrey Harris (1928-2019), who worked as a studio assistant for Henry Moore.

Harris was born in Nottingham in 1928 and studied at Leeds College of Art and the Royal College of Art.  He worked as an assistant for Leon Underwood, David John, and William Bloye and lectured at several art colleges including Birmingham, Stourbridge, Bromley, and Ravensbourne.  However, he is perhaps best known for, and his work most influenced by, his period working as a studio assistant for Moore from 1957-1960.  Harris had solo exhibitions at the Leicester Galleries and the Queen’s Square Gallery in 1964.

The collection comprises a series of Portland stone sculptures from the 1960s and 70s, a handful of bronze maquettes and a significant collection of photographic prints and negatives of the artist’s works.  Prices range from £200 to £1,000.  [Lot 169-180]


Modern & Contemporary British Art

Tuesday 11 February, 11am


Viewing times

Friday 7 February 9:30am-5:30pm

Sunday 9 February 10am-2pm

Monday 10 February 9:30am-5:30pm

Tuesday 11 February 9.30am-10.30am



For further information please contact Peigi Mackillop [email protected]

+44 (0) 20 8761 2522


Laurence Stephen Lowry RA RBA (British, 1887-1976)

Study of a Female Head

sanguine on buff paper

21 x 8.5 cm

accompanied by a signed statement by Martin Summers, former Managing Director of the Lefevre Gallery, London, confirming the authenticity of the work.



Estimate: GBP£8,000 – GBP£12,000

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