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Mid-century artwork and sculpture to take centre stage at Cheffins' Art & Design Sale
The highlight of the John Blackburn pictures is a picture titled ‘White L on Black’ which has an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000.

CAMBRIDGE.- Works by some of the biggest names in 20th century art and sculpture will be offered for sale at the Cheffins Art & Design Auction on 25th February.

The paintings section is dominated by some 23 pictures by well-known post-war abstract artist, John Blackburn. Sourced from two private collections, this is the largest contingent of John Blackburn works to have ever come to auction. Born in 1932 and now aged 89, John Blackburn experienced critical success in the 1960s which garnered him a devoted following of collectors. The highlight of the John Blackburn pictures is a picture titled ‘White L on Black’ which has an estimate of £2,000 - £3,000.

Also amongst the paintings section is a picture by Paul Feiler (German, 1918 – 2013), which has come from a Cambridge-based private collection and is being sold on behalf of Kettle’s Yard. It has an estimate of £12,000 - £18,000. In addition, Cheffins will be offering the remaining nine pictures from the private studio of famous Norfolk artist, Gwyneth Johnstone. There are also a series of original paintings and prints from some of the biggest names in 20th century art such as Dame Elisabeth Frink, Ben Nicholson, Anish Kapoor and Prunella Clough. There is also a screen print of Andy Warhol’s ‘The Pop Art Souper Dress’ from 1967, complete with its original label, which has an estimate of £1,500 - £2,500.

The sale will also feature a large contingent of 20th century sculpture, with the highlight being a bronze by famous French artist, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Being one of an edition of only 12, this cast bronze sculpture titled ‘Duck’ is one of Gaudier-Brzeska’s well-known, ‘pocket sculptures’, originally carved in stone, shortly before he enlisted in the French army to then go on and be killed in the trenches in 1915. It has an estimate of £12,000 - £18,000. A limited edition posthumously cast sculpture by Salvador Dali, conceived in 1977 and cast in 1984, is also set to be popular, with an estimate of £5,000 - £8,000. Similarly, a bronze sculpture by cubist artist, Rudolf Belling, dated 1950, has an estimate of £3,000 - £5,000, and has been consigned on the back of a successful sale of another version of this bronze back in 2019. The section also features a bronze by Dame Elisabeth Frink, titled ‘Maquette for Man and Eagle Relief,’ which is signed and numbered 2/7, it has an estimate of £1,500 - £2,500.

The furniture section features six pieces by lauded designer, David Linley. The lot with the highest estimate is a Linley sycamore dressing table and stool en suite, made from walnut, which has an estimate of £1,500 - £2,500. Other collectors of 20th century furniture will be drawn to the five pieces by Thomas ‘Gnomeman’ Whittaker of Littlebeck. Whittaker trained under famous furniture maker, Robert Mouseman Thompson, and each of his designs bears his carved ‘gnome’ signature. The highest value of these is an oak sideboard which has an estimate of £400 - £600.

Martin Millard, Director, Cheffins, says: “This tri-annual sale features some of the biggest names in 20th-century art and design, creating an eclectic auction for all tastes and budgets. The furniture section has everything from traditional Arts and Crafts pieces right through to the best of contemporary design and craftsmanship, whilst the paintings on offer provide the opportunity to purchase important original works or signed prints by some of the period’s greatest artists. In line with government guidance, and as has become the way of things, the sale will take place behind closed doors with no public viewing, however all lots are extensively illustrated online, and our team of specialists are happy to provide condition reports on request.”

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