Five to buy at Mallams’ picture sale

From mysterious portraits to cheery still-lifes to lush landscapes, there is something for everyone at Mallams’ Picture Sale.

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This oil on canvas, estimated at £600-800, shows a view of the Tiber River in Rome from the Castel Sant’Angelo. Indistinctly dated, it is the work of Laurence Irving (1897-1988). Irving was an artist illustrator and Hollywood set designer. He joined the RNAS in the First World War and was recalled to the RAF in the Second World War to serve in the Intelligence Department. He was also married to Rosalind Woolner, the grand-daughter of the Pre-Raphaelite sculptor Thomas Woolner.

Taking place July 12, it comprises around 560 lots. Most are pictures but there are some sculptures on offer as well.

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It’s a familiar scene with grand influences. Jean Young (1914-95) looked to the art of Persia and India to inform her work – mostly figure compositions, landscapes and birds. She also spent several years studying at London Zoo. This oil on canvas of a mother and her children seated on a beach has an estimate of £150-250.

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At pigeon races, the victors have long been awarded for outstanding performances with pictures. Today these are usually photographs, but in the 19th and early 20th centuries, several artists specialised in painting these exceptional birds. The trend rose to its peak in the 1920s. This painting by JT Ryder of Mr S Bailey’s Red Cheq Hen and Mr S Bailey’s Reliance comes from just before and is signed and dated 1913. It is offered unframed with an estimate of £1200-1500.

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And now for something completely different. Contemporary British sculptor Paul Day specialises in high-relief sculptures in terracotta, resin and bronze. He is known for some major public works such as The Battle of Britain Monument on the Victoria Embankment and The Meeting Place, a 30ft tall statue in St Pancras railway station. Several of his works are included in this sale, such as a grey cement and resin relief plaque of figures on a spiral staircase signed and dated May 1991. It has an estimate of £300-600.

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The most fascinating aspect of this picture is its artist. It shows an unknown woman in mid-19th century fashion, her hair tied in a bun with ringlets and a black dress with a lace-trimmed collar. An inscription to the back reads: Painted by Edmund Edgar, Sydney, NSW, February 1837. Edgar was a portrait miniature painter who was born in England, but was sent to Sydney, NSW, Australia in 1926 when he was convicted of robbery. It has an estimate of £1000-1500. Like many portrait miniatures of this age, it is painted on ivory, but is offered with an ivory certificate.

Tags: Fine Art
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