East Anglian-based auctioneer, Cheffins
, sold £94,470-worth of contemporary art on behalf of Kettles Yard House and Gallery, at the firms triannual Art & Design Sale on 25th February.
The 35 works on offer came from two private collections which were bequeathed to Kettles Yard. The John Ady collection comprised of 29 pieces including pictures, bronzes and ceramics and raised a total of £89,800. John Ady, a Cambridge-based landscape architect and long-term friend of Jim Ede, creator of Kettles Yard, left his comprehensive collection to the gallery following his death in 2019. Having been a collector of abstract modern art throughout his life, John Ady enjoyed close friendships with numerous artists including the painter John Blackburn, who is represented by seven works in the collection.
Highlights of the John Ady collection included seven paintings by John Blackburn, the highest value of which was Blue Helmet dated 1963, which sold for £7,500.In addition, there was a picture by Paul Feiler, titled Horizontal Yellow and dated 1964, which sold for £17,500, whilst The Small Gate Painting 4 by Prunella Clough, which had an estimate of £4,000 - £6,000 was sold for £9,500. Amongst the bronzes, two Keith McCarter sculptures, titled Epsilon and Dionghair sold for £6,000 and £2,800 respectively.
Also from Kettles Yard were six pictures from the private collection of artist Alan Reynolds, which were left directly to the gallery. Reynolds also had a close relationship with Kettles Yard, including a solo exhibition in 2003, and a monograph written in 2011 by previous Director Michael Harrison. The collection included both original and signed prints including a facsimile by Georges Braque which sold for £850 against an estimate of £300 - £500 and an etching by Sonia Delaunay which made £1,500 against an estimate of £700 - £1,000.
Brett Tryner, Director, Cheffins, says: With unprecedented interest in works by the likes of John Blackburn, the prices achieved go to show the emerging collectors market for post-war abstract artists, with both private buyers and dealers vying for the best items on offer. And whilst the market for a number of these artists has been well-established for some years, it is really now starting to gather pace with demand and values increasing for original examples which come to auction.
The funds raised from todays sale will go towards Kettles Yards continuing work producing exhibitions and events, caring for its collection and supporting artists. Kettles Yard represents one of the most important collections of modern and contemporary art in the country and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to offer some of these incredibly significant items at auction.
Andrew Nairne, Director of Kettles Yard says: We are delighted with this result. Thanks to the generosity of these two legacies, resources can go towards supporting future exhibitions and conserving the collection.
Prices reported are hammer prices and are not inclusive of buyers premium at 24.5% + VAT (29.4%).