BURY ST EDMUNDS: Print to fetch �15k

A PRINT by a famous Suffolk-born artist discovered at a church fete in New Zealand is expected to reach �15,000 at auction.

The bold lino print by celebrated artist Sybil Andrews, who was born in Bury St Edmunds in 1898, was bought in a sale in Wellington for the equivalent of �20.

‘Tillers of the Soil’ showing a team of horses at plough cresting a ridge is now expected to fetch between �10,000 to �15,000 at Bonhams print sale in London this month.

Sybil Andrews was born above Andrews and Plumpton ironmongers store in Bury’s Guildhall Street, which had been run by her family for two generations.

Educated at a private school Langton House in Hatter Street, Andrews spent much of her childhood in the town.

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Having studied at the Grosvenor School of Modern Art in London, Andrews emigrated to Canada with her husband Walter Morgan in 1947.

Yet throughout her life she continued to create powerful images of agricultural life, working men and the Suffolk landscape which had such an impact on her early life.

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Writing shortly before her death in 1992, she said: “From my earliest recollections, Bury St Edmunds has been at the centre of my life.

“If your early life means something, it goes with you all the days of your life.

“Suffolk is as important a part in my life in my reminiscence today as it has been since the days when I was a small child.

Much of the artist’s early work was centred on the streets and scenes in Bury, which inspired a banner of St Edmund, which she completed in 1975 which now hangs in St James Church.

Peter James, heritage officer for St Edmundsbury Borough Council which has a the largest publicly-owned collection of her work in Europe , said Andrews’ work had become increasingly collectable in recent years.

“Andrews’ work is coming back into fashion at the moment,” he said. “�15,000 is quite a conservative estimate.

“Imagine finding it in a village sale.”

For more details of Andrews’ work, visit Moyses Hall Museum in Cornhill, Bury which is open from 10am to 5pm daily.

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