A vibrant, bumper edition of Cheffins’ October Art & Design Sale exceeded pre-sale expectations with strong demand for the choice lots.
The sale was topped by a Sir Kyffin Williams, OBE, oil painting on canvas of Hendre Waelod, a historical landmark in Wales, which achieved a price of £30,000, well in advance of its estimate of £15,000 to £20,000.
The painting had come from the collection of the late Samuel Alper, OBE (1924-2002), who acquired the work at some point during the 1970s.
Alper, an English caravan designer and manufacturer who founded the Little Chef restaurant, would later strike up a friendship with Williams after an introduction from artist and sculptor Elizabeth Frink.
Williams had been looking to make limited edition lithographic prints of his work in order to make it available to the public and Alper had rescued Curwen Press in 1989 after learning the studio’s Tottenham Court Road lease was about to expire and moved it to new premises at Chilford Hall, Cambridgeshire, where he had revived the ancient Roman winery.
A collage by Swiss artist Zoltàn Kemény (1907-1965) sold for £13,000 after spirited bidding in the room and on the telephone.
Kemény was inspired to introduce commonplace found objects, such as pebbles and beads into his work, after meeting the painter and sculptor, Dubuffet and ‘La Source’, which was created in 1947, is a fine example of this style. It is based on the painting by the same name by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1820-1856) which is in the Louvre.
Also making £13,000 was a rare ‘Nudo Sul Mondo earthenware figure, modelled as a young female nude seated beside a small dog on top of a globe, signed to the underside Lenci, Torino, 9-1936-XIV.
The Italian-brand Lenci was founded in 1919 in Turin by Enrico Scavini and his wife, Helen König, and orginally made crafted felt dolls. The company diversified into ceramics, unveiling their stylish figures at the International exhibition in Turin in 1928.
Lenci ceramic figurines embody the Art Deco style of the time, many of which were designed by König herself. Nudity was extremely popular in the art world in the 1920s and 1930s and König nude creations proved extremely successful.
This piece was in very good condition and it was no surprise to see it attract lots of interest.
A gouache painting with gold coloured speckles by Russian artist Pavel Tchelitchew (1898-1957), entitled Royal Palace – Day, sold for £12,000.