Strong results by the Grosvenor school have helped Bonhams realise £1.4 million, in their spring prints sale, on the 16th April in London. Amongst the top sellers were images of the underground. There were two Prints of subterranean London by Cyril Edward Power of the Grosvenor school – Whence and Whither? which made £97,250 and Tube Station, which sold for £61,250.
The Power print of a descending escalator at rush hour in Tottenham Court Road station sold for £97,250. It was estimated to sell for £30,000 to £50,000. The work had not come up at auction for 30 years.
Buyers also bid highly for Cyril Power’s ‘Tube Station’ which gives us a taste of the underground before it was fully integrated into the network we know today, capturing the artist’s excitement about the new experience of modern technology.
Power’s Speed Trial also surpassed its pre-sale estimate, making £73,250. The Powers’ print spent 25 years hanging on a man’s wall, considered nothing more than a nice picture. In a surprise discovery, the print turned out to be a work by Cyril Power.
The works of Ethel Spowers also fetched exceptional results with her work ‘Giant Stride’ almost tripling its 85,250. It was estimated to sell for £20,000 to 30,000. A further print by the artist that attracted high bidders was her ‘Rain Cloud’ which sold for £49,250, as well as Island of the Dead, the only depiction of the Australian penal colony Port Arthur.
Other highlights included Claude Flight’s Street Singers, a rare linocut of street performers printed in 1925 sold for £79,250, doubling its £30,000 estimate. Christopher Nevinson’s Banking at 4000 feet also exceeded expectation selling at £61,250, a work which arrived at Prints department in outstanding condition.
Rupert, head of Prints comments: “I’m delighted with today’s result with 89% sale by value which is a clear indicator of the ongoing strength of the Print market and specifically the increasing popularity of the Grosvenor school artists”.