Lawrences: Prints Charming

An interesting variety of modern prints will be offered at Lawrences in Crewkerne in April and they deserve more than a second glance. “Too often, people will dismiss prints for not being `unique` works of art,” observes the firm’s specialist, Richard Kay. “Not only is that not true – as fascinating variations can arise within editions of some prints – but original artists’ prints allow a collector to acquire a really distinctive work of art for a much more modest price than the equivalent subject by that artist in ink, watercolour or oil.”

Richard gives a few examples: an etching by Pierre Auguste Renoir (yes, thatRenoir), entitled `Baigneuse debout, a mi-jambes` is from a posthumous edition. It depicts a nude female bather, modestly covering herself as she steps from the water. The estimate is just £80-120 (lot 333). A similar posthumous printing of an etching by Edgar Degas of a ballerina fixing her slipper is guided at £200-300 (lot 334). Two etchings by Pablo Picasso from his celebrated `Vollard Suite` of 1933 , from an edition of 310 copies, are signed in pencil by the artist himself and are estimated at £2500-4000 each (lots 335,336).

Graham Clarke (b.1941) is a living British artist, best known for his skilfully composed and intricate colour etchings. The folio of his eighteen coloured prints entitled `History of England`(1986) is unusual for offering something rarely found in such prints: humour. “These delightful prints have a mood of jaunty, whimsical amusement,” says Richard. “There is such a wealth of detail that you are sure to see something new every time you look at them.” The folio is estimated at £1400-1800 (lot 347).

“ My two personal favourites have a London theme,” observes Richard . “Emile Verpilleux’s `Pancras Station`is a superb colour woodcut from 1912 that captures the cavernous concourse of the station and affords plenty of details in the bustle of travellers on the concourse. It is a truly fine and accomplished piece of printmaking and it evokes its era well. The estimate is £700-1000.” (lot 340). Richard also admires a lithograph by Christopher Nevinson, entitled `Dawn at Southwark` (lot 350). This signed print from 1917 is not just a brilliantly atmospheric and subtly geometric design but it is so uncommon that there has been no example offered in any auction worldwide for decades. Although it has a few surface defects, its extreme scarcity will be sure to attract interest. Estimated at £2000-4000, it has the potential to make a surprise as Nevinson’s printmaking is so much admired. Enquiries to the auctioneers on (01460) 73041,

Lawrences are welcoming consignments for their Autumn Fine Art sales to include:
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