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'Big Names' in Contemporary Art Auction
21 Sep 2023

Works by internationally renowned artists will be included in a timed auction of modern and contemporary art being organised by Halls Fine Art in Shrewsbury this October 13 - 31.

A beautiful Donegal landscape oil painting by Maurice Canning Wilks is among a clutch of works by internationally renowned artists to go under the hammer in Shrewsbury next month. 

Maurice was an Irish painter born in Belfast in 1911, whose work captures the mountains, valleys and bogs of Éire. This lovely Donegal view is estimated to fetch around £1,500-£2000 in a timed auction of modern and contemporary art being organised by Halls Fine Art, running from October 13-31.

Also consigned are works by Barbara Hepworth, John Piper, Ernest Proctor, Thomas Nash, Gary Hume, William Gear, Sir Eduardo Paolozzi and Geraldine Knight.

‘British Destroyer Passing the Needles, Isle of Wight’ (est £2,000-£3,000) by Montague Dawson is expected to attract keen interest. Montague Dawson (1890-1973) grew up on Southampton Water, the son of a keen yachtsman and grandson of marine painter Henry Dawson. He served in the Royal Navy during the First World War, in Falmouth where he met fellow artist Charles Napier Henry, who would greatly influence his work. By the 1930s, Dawson was considered one of the greatest living marine artists, with patrons included American Presidents Dwight D Eisenhower and Lyndon B Johnson as well as members of the British Royal Family. There's a good chance this oil, which shows a British warship in choppy waters just off The Needles, could drum up some major excitement. 

painting of a battleship by Montague Dawson

‘British Destroyer Passing the Needles, Isle of Wight’ by Montague Dawson (1890-1973)

Also hotly tipped to attract big bids is ‘Out of town’ by Geoffrey Birks (estimate £2,000-£4,000) who often captured industrial scenes in Northern towns capturing the humour and atmosphere of those communities. 

Abigail Molenaar, fine art specialist at Halls Fine Art, is accepting entries until September 29 and the lots will be available for viewing at the company’s saleroom on October 26 and 27 from 10am to 4pm.

Three prints by Sir Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005), a Scottish artist known for his sculpture and graphic works who pioneered pop art, carry estimates of between £300 and £500.

Two Barbara Hepworth lithographs titled ‘Mykonos’ and ‘Sun Setting’ are expected to sell for between £2,000-£4,000 and £1,500-£2,500 respectively while a maritime scene by Stephen Renard carries an estimate of £2,000 and £3,000.

Other works include a limited edition woodcut of owls by Gertrude Hermes (est £1,000-£1,500, a watercolour by Ernest Proctor (1886-1935) titled 'Home in Danger' (est £800-£1,200), a polished bronze by Geraldine Knight (1932-2008) titled Two Runners (est £800-£1,200) and a screenprint by John Piper titled ‘Façade’ (est £600-£800).

Timed auctions take place without an auctioneer. Prospective buyers can bid at any time during the defined time period by entering a highest amount they are willing to pay for a lot. 

For more information about the auction and to consign works to the auction, contact Abigail on Tel: 01743 450700 or email: abigailm@hallsgb.com . She offers free valuations via email or appointment. 

Picture captions: ‘British Destroyer Passing the Needles, Isle of Wight’ by Montague Dawson (1890-1973), estimated at £2,000-£3,000. 

A polished bronze by Geraldine Knight (1932-2008) titled Two Runners, estimated at £800-£1,200.