Affordable art: Five works offered or sold for under £1000 including two impressionistic works by an Australian painter

Whether you are looking for a serene lakeside view or something a bit different like a theatre stage set design, there are plenty of great pictures being bought and sold at auctions on every week.

Colin Colahan picture

‘For Monique Specially’ by Colin Colahan, one of two works by the artist offered as a single lot estimated at £150-200 at The Canterbury Auction Galleries.

Here we pick out a mixture of works offered at upcoming auctions on as well as a few recently sold.


1. Australian artist at the double

Australian painter and sculptor Colin Colahan (1897-1987) began as an artist by drawing humorous cartoons for magazines. He later quit medical school to study art and, after establishing a name through exhibitions in his homeland, later moved to Europe where his work was shown in London and Paris.

At one point he lived in Chelsea in a house formerly owned by James McNeill Whistler.

During the Second World War he became an official war artist, covering the endeavours of the Royal Australian Air Force in particular and later became the first president of the Australian Artists’ Association, London, in 1952.

Two oil sketches by the artist will be offered at The Canterbury Auction Galleries on June 6-7. One depicts a vase of flowers and is inscribed ‘For Monique Specially’ (shown above). It dates from 1984. The other is an impressionistic view of a woman reading overlooking the coast and is titled Monique le Vanti, Mortola 1980 (shown below).

Colin Colahan picture

‘Monique le Vanti, Mortola 1980’ by Colin Colahan, one of two works by the artist offered as a single lot estimated at £150-200 at The Canterbury Auction Galleries.

Offered together as a single lot, they are estimated at £150-200.

View the catalogue entry for these pictures by Colin Colahan on


2. Scottish scene by Welsh artist

Hugh Warren Williams watercolour

Scottish lake scene with boats by Hugh Warren Williams, estimated at £550-700 at Rogers Jones.

Hugh Warren Williams (1863-1941) was a prolific Welsh artist and views of the landscape around Snowdonia, the Conwy valley and Anglesey coast are regularly offered on the market.

He studied at Liverpool Art School and his ability to paint landscape and seascapes led to a job as a staff artist with Dennis Limited, making drawings and paintings which were turned into prints and sold throughout Britain.

A watercolour of a rarer Scottish scene is offered at a Rogers Jones auction on May 26. The lake scene with boats measures 14.5 x 23.5in (37 x 60cm) and is estimated at £550-700.

View the catalogue entry for this watercolour by Warren Williams on


3. Victorian rabble-rouser

‘An Oration’ by Herbert William Weekes

‘An Oration’ by Herbert William Weekes, £950 at Ewbank’s.

Victorian painter Herbert William Weekes (1856-1904) was an animal and genre painter who often depicted donkeys, chickens and geese and other farmyard subjects anthropomorphically.

A 10.75 x 7.25in (28 x 19cm) oil on board that appeared at Ewbank’s in Surrey on March 19 showed a crow preaching to a gaggle of geese. Estimated at £500-800, it was titled An Oration and sold for £950.


4. Huntsman’s landscape

‘Waiting Outside The Covert’ by John Arnold Alfred Wheeler

‘Waiting Outside The Covert’ by John Arnold Alfred Wheeler, £700 at Bigwood.

Equestrian scenes were the favoured subjects of John Arnold Alfred Wheeler Snr (1821-1903) in part due to his time spent in the Queen’s Dragoon Guards. He took up painting when he left the Bays in 1847 and received patronage for a number of leading figures including the Duke of Beaufort.

This painting of a huntsman observing fox and hounds titled Waiting Outside The Covert sold on mid-estimate for £700 at Bigwood’s auction in Stratford-Upon-Avon on March 27.


5. The stage is set

Vladimir Polunin stage design

Set design showing two harlequins on stage by Vladimir Polunin, £550 at Duke’s.

Russian artist Vladimir Polunin (1880-1957) came to London just before the First World War and is often best remembered for his poster designs for the underground made between 1930-1934.

Before that, however, he had been a designer for the Ballets Russes in his homeland and became Diaghilev's chief scene-painter. On arriving in the UK, he initially taught stage design at the Slade School of Fine Art and exhibited some of his works at the Beaux Arts and Redfern Galleries between 1937-38.

Offered at Duke’s of Dorchester on March 19 was a set design showing two harlequins on stage. The 11.5 x 17.25in (29 x 44cm) pencil and watercolour overshot a £200-400 estimate and sold at £550.

Tags: Fine Art
Send feedback on this article