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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Early experimental works by Grayson Perry to be auctioned in London

Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions are delighted to present an important group of early Grayson Perry works. These pieces, from the cross-dressing potter’s exploratory phase, post Art College, began his eccentric journey to becoming one of Britain’s most celebrated artists and a media sensation. This unusual group will be offered in a sale of Modern & Contemporary Art at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions on Friday 27th June 2014.

Early Grayson Perry Group
Early Grayson Perry Group
Angus Maguire, Modern & Contemporary Art Specialist at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions said; “In this receptive market, the fascination with Perry’s early work is growing, for it is with these unusual experimental works that he begins to find his metier.”

A weird Arthurian relic is the first of Perry’s bronze works ever to be offered at auction. Six individually cast bronze arches are joined together in the form of an early medieval crown, highly decorated with ceramic elements and plastic toys.

Turning to pottery in the autumn of 1983, this work was presumably made either for his graduation at Portsmouth Polytechnic in the summer of 1982 or in the intervening year before he attended the Central Institute in London. The work suggests a young artist simultaneously exploring medieval and contemporary imagery to produce a signature artwork imbued with the artist’s unique and eccentric vision. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000. [Lot 139]

Grayson Perry: “I did a lot of bronze casting and made things like crowns and helmets and it all got a bit ‘Sword and Sorcery’…”
Continuing with this quasi-religious theme, Cosmic Chick, represents a highly unusual wall based sculpture in the form of a crucifix. This is another experimental, early work produced c.1985. It is estimated at £5,000-7,000. [Lot 140]

Also in the group is a rare example of artists taking a ‘found’ pot and extensively drawing on the surface with deep incisions and over glaze. It is therefore a direct precursor to Perry’s best known later work, the highly adorned large scale ceramic pieces for which he is most renowned. Likely to have been produced shortly after he graduated, this highly defaced piece is estimated at £5,000-7,000. [Lot 141]

Grayson Perry: “I just had a table in my room and I used to buy lots of books at jumble sales and cut them up, and do drawings and stuff. And then I started doing little assemblages of junk I found. I did that for a couple of years and went to my first pottery class in September ’83.”

An untitled large plate, or ‘charger’, is the final work in the group and is estimated at £3,000-5,000. [Lot 142]

Grayson Perry: “I started making plates – they were very easy to make. I could do a press mould of a plate – pretty much finish one in a lesson and have something to prop up on the mantelpiece.”

The sale will be held on Friday 27th June at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ saleroom in London’s Mayfair. Viewing is from Sunday 22nd – Friday 29th June and the catalogue is available to download or view online at