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World Famous Artists Go Down a Storm
18 May 2021
by Cathy Block

Hockney is top lot in arts sale!

Halls Fine Art are celebrating yet another very successful Modern and Contemporary Art auction which finished on the 9th May.

Bidding was supposed to be ending from 5pm but bidders were fiercely battling it out over contested lots which kept the auction going well into the evening. Eager collectors were joining the sale from across the world including Australia, India, the USA, Singapore, Europe and across the UK.

The top lot of the sale was Lot 17, a rare lithograph created by David Hockney in 1971 to raise funds to support three British journalists who were brought to trial for conspiracy to corrupt public morality, depicting them naked in order to convey their innocence. The Oz Obscenity Trial lithograph has only been seen at auction a few times and bidders were keen to secure it, the final hammer price reaching £8,000.

David Hockney, Oz Obscenity Trial lithograph, three naked men

David Hockney's lithograph ' The Oz Obscenity Trial' which sold for £8000 at the recent Halls Fine Art Modern and Contemporary Auction

David Hockney proved a huge draw for bidders with Halls having a large single-owner collection of his etchings up for grabs with rare editions and artist proof etchings from his illustrations for Grimms Fairy Tales, his Erotic Arts series as well as the homo-erotic poems of C.P. Cavafy. A portrait of Cavafy himself was hotly contested and sold for £2,700.

Other highlights included the dispersal of a large corporate collection containing an impressive collection of Scottish contemporary artists including names such as John Houston, Will Maclean and Gary Anderson- whose painting of a chicken in a garden sold for an impressive £1,550. Northern artists were also well represented with sculptures by Stephen Broadbent, pieces by L.S. Lowry and a stunning oil by Geoffrey Key all performing strongly.

One of the most surprising results from the sale came from a charming painting of yellow poppies by British post-war artist Carolyn Sergeant (1937-2018). Sergeant specialised in floral studies and clearly this lovely, bright piece captured  the collector’s attention with the winning bid securing it for £2,300 against an estimate of £150-£250.

Carolyne Sergeant 'Yellow Poppies' 3 yellow poppies

Carolyn Sergeant's oil painting '3 Poppies' which sold for £2,300 at the recent Halls Fine Art Modern and Contemporary Auction