Modern British art collection finds high prices in Essex

Mary Fedden's oil Garden Bunch, dated 1988, sold for £38,000 well above its estimate of £5,000-£7,00

Mary Fedden's oil Garden Bunch, dated 1988, sold for £38,000 well above its estimate of £5,000-£7,000, at the Sworders sale of modern art on January 15, collected by the late Barbara Holliday. Pictue: STEPHEN BAKER - Credit: Stephen Baker

The 570 lots, acquired since the 1960s by a Cumbrian farmer’s wife, the late Barbara Holliday, sold well above the pre-sale estimate of up to £400,0000. Prices include the buyer’s premium.

Works by plantsman/artist Olwyn Bowey sold n the auction by Sworders, of the modern art collection o

Works by plantsman/artist Olwyn Bowey sold n the auction by Sworders, of the modern art collection of the late Barbara Holliday on January 15. Two `Greenhouse oils sold for £9,100 and £7,600, setting new price levels for the artist. Picture: STEPHEN BAKER - Credit: Archant

She collected local artists and also regularly attended auctions both in the provinces in London.

The family owned a home in London and she immersed herself in the British art scene, from the 1960s, befriending and corresponding with a group of noted painters and sculptors.

There were high prices achieved in the sale.

Mary Fedden’s Garden Bunch, dated 1988, sold to the London trade for £38,000, leading the sale.

Sheila Fell's 1965 oil, Allonby - Approaching High Tide sold for �24,000 at the Sworders sale of the

Sheila Fell's 1965 oil, Allonby - Approaching High Tide sold for �24,000 at the Sworders sale of the modern art collection of the late Barbara Holliday. Picture: STEPHEN BAKER - Credit: Archant


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A bust of jazz pianist and band leader Count Basie by Sir Eduardo Paollozzi, a personal friend of Barbara’s, sold to a local private buyer for £18,400.

Two large-scale `greenhouse’ oils by Olwyn Bower sold for £9,100 and for £7,600.

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A watercolour by Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, Exotic Fruits and Orchids sold for £16,000 to a buyer in France.

While a bronze eagle by Dame Elisabeth Frink took £17,300.

There was a packed saleroom for the eight hour sale at Stansted Mountfitchet, plus a high number of online registered bidders, second only to the sale of the collection of Sir Rod Stewart in September 2018.

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