Made in Britain at Sotheby’s

From Hodgkin to Hockney – 20th-century heavyweights under the hammer

At the end of a month in which Britain’s creativity is celebrated during film, fashion and design weeks, it’s appropriate that some of the biggest names in 20th-century British art feature in Sotheby’s Made in Britain auction on September 30 (and currently on view at the New Bond Street space). Spanning fine art, prints, photography, sculpture, design and studio ceramics from 1900 to the present day, estimates from £200-£60,000 offer a diverse opportunity for first-time buyers as well as established collectors, and its starry creative roster includes Peter Blake, Howard Hodgkin, Frank Auerbach, Peter Doig, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Antony Gormley and Marc Quinn.

A charming LS Lowry painting, Man Sitting in a Wheelbarrow (estimate £40,000-£60,000) is likely to encourage pacy bidding, especially as it is accompanied by its original 1966 purchase receipt of £100. Another draw is an early Tracey Emin painting from 1988, Untitled (Porchester Baths) (£5,000-£7,000, second picture), an insight into her formative roots. More provocative is an irreverent piece by Richard Hamilton, a founding figure of the British pop art movement. The Critic Laughs (£35,000-£40,000, third picture) – a set of false teeth mounted on an electric toothbrush – was shown at a recent Tate Modern exhibition. A sketch of a woman’s foot in vertiginous heels (£3,000-£5,000) by pop artist Allen Jones is another eye-catcher, as is Pyroniny (£6,000-£8,000), one of several Damien Hirst dot paintings.


Among an enticing group of prints is Painter’s Garden (£30,000-£50,000), an engaging woodland etching by Lucian Freud, as well as two modern rarities: a Ben Nicholson lino-cut (£6,000-£8,000) from an unrecorded edition of which there is only one other known impression, and an early proof of a David Hockney print (£12,000-£18,000). A selection by op art exponent Bridget Riley (from £1,000) range from the 1960s to contemporary pieces.

Alongside a number of Francis Bacon works is an intimate photograph of his studio by Perry Ogden (£3,000-£5,000); other stunning photographs include iconic portraits such as Chris Levine’s Kate Moss (She’s Light) from 2014 (£4,000-£6,000), Terry O’Neill’s Brigitte Bardot with Cigar from 1971 (£7,000-£10,000), and the Angus McBean shot that launched Audrey Hepburn’s career (£2,000-£3,000, first picture). This 1950 advertisement for sunscreen ­– displayed ubiquitously in British chemist shops – caught the eye of the director of The Secret People, landing Hepburn her first major film role.

Fans of British studio ceramics will be tempted by the alluring glazes of Lucie Rie’s sculptural work. One of the 21 Rie lots is a stunning blue Footed Bowl (£6,000-£8,000); another is an intriguingly-shaped white coffee pot (£1,500-£2,000). Hans Coper’s totemic ceramics include a Large Spade Form (£18,000-£25,000), and there’s a charming Ovoid vase by Bernard Leach (£400-£600). An early Grayson Perry self-portrait plate from 1986 (£15,000-£20,000, fourth picture) is also sure to find an appreciative new owner at this lively sale.


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