Bonhams London sale of 20th Century British Art once more exceeded expectations when it made a £2 million total and a brand new world record price for a Helen Bradley picture sold at auction, for £144,000. Bradley (1900-1979), who started painting in her sixties, and died shortly before she was due to be honoured with an MBE, had previously commanded £97,000 as a best price at auction, said a delighted Matthew Bradbury, Head of 20th Century British Art at Bonhams.
The world record picture titled “Blackpool Beach” a sunny image of bathers, had been estimated to sell for £70,000 to £90,000. Matthew Bradbury said that the sale had “produced strength across the board” with the 90 lots offered generally doing well.
Fourth highest price in the sale was for a recently discovered David Bomberg (1890-1957), “The Canal Lock” which sold for £84,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £30,000 to £50,000.
Other notable results from among the top ten in the sale included a beautiful picture by Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878-1959) titled “The Start, Newmarket” that made £524,000; a picture by Sir Kyffin Williams (1918-2006) titled “Bull” performed strongly with a £50,400 price against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000 to £12,000.
There was also an “LS Lowry” (1887-1976) ‘Newtown’ which went for £43,200, and a Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) titled “Assassins” which made £62,400 having been expected to sell for £20,000 to £30,000.