Two days of Modern and Contemporary art delights on offer in south London auction

Modern & Contemporary British & Irish Art is a popular collecting field and south London saleroom Roseberys is offering a wide range of lots over two days.

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Augustus John, Dorelia in a cyclamen dress with a blue apron - estimate £70,000-90,000 at Roseberys.

Staged in West Norwood, the Modern & Contemporary British & Irish Art auction on May 25-26 includes Camden Town Group artworks on the first day and around 30 lots from important political cartoon editors, including Sir William Orpen, Leslie Illingworth and Sidney Herbert Sime.

The second day will feature the Estate of Agi Katz, founder and director of Boundary Gallery, London.

William Summerfield, head of sale and specialist of the Modern and Contemporary British and Irish art department at Roseberys, says: “This is yet another strong selection of Modern & Contemporary works, from the Camden Town Group to the YBAs.

"We are extremely proud to be presenting as part of the sale the Estate of Agi Katz. She had a long relationship with Roseberys, so we are honoured to celebrate her life and career, with a sensational group of works that includes masterpieces by David Bomberg, Mark Gertler, Henryk Gotlib, Josef Harman and Bernard Meninsky.”

Here is a selection of stand-out lots from the auction.

Blue Tooth connection

Leading the sale is a work by Augustus John (1878-1961). Dorelia in a cyclamen dress with a blue apron (shown top), c.1910-12, an oil on panel, has an estimate of £70,000-90,000.

Summerfield says: “We are delighted to have another sensational early work by Augustus John from the descendants of Arthur Tooth & Sons. This work was probably painted in the south of France, at the Villa Saint Anne, where Augustus John and his second wife and early muse lived partially from 1910-28.”

Bid for Dorelia in a cyclamen dress with a blue apron by Augustus John via

Sickert on show

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Alla Pescheria by Walter Sickert - estimate £20,000-30,000 at Roseberys.

Roseberys offers two works by Walter Sickert for sale at the same time as his acclaimed exhibition at Tate Britain.

Shown here is Alla Pescheria, c.1903-04; oil on canvas, painted in Venice, where the artist regularly visited and depicted throughout his career. Due to early bad weather, during his stay from 1903-04, Sickert focused for the first time on the citizens of Venice, rather than the city itself, looking at working people in their ordinary daily environments.

These works would pave the way for the realist interiors of the highly influential Camden Town Group, which the artist founded with Robert Bevan, Harold Gilman and Spencer Gore. Estimate £20,000-30,000.

See Alla Pescheria by Walter Sickert on

When Bradley met Lowry

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On a warm spring day in May by Helen Bradley - estimate £12,000-18,000 at Roseberys.

In the 1960s, Helen Bradley (1900-79) met LS Lowry, who inspired her to pursue her dream of painting professionally, even though the artist was in her 60s at the time.

Bradley quickly found international success, painting her childhood memories in a naïve style, appearing on television and illustrating a series of novels in the 1970s, starting with And Miss Carter Wore Pink: Scenes from an Edwardian Childhood, which became bestsellers around the world.

Shown here is On a warm spring day in May, 1972, a watercolour on paper estimated at £12,000-18,000.

To bid for On a warm spring day in May by Helen Bradley check

Bomberg's deep emotion

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Woman in sunlight, Lilian by David Bomberg - estimate £30,000-35,000 at Roseberys.

Woman in sunlight, Lilian, 1931, an oil on canvas, from the Estate of Agi Katz is one of the most tender and soulful portraits David Bomberg ever made of his wife, the artist Lilian Holt.

During the 1930s Bomberg created a number of celebrated portraits of Lilian in his innovative mature style, that combined heavy brushstrokes with deep colour, the figure gradually emerging from the paint. These works would be hugely influential on a generation of artists including Frank Auerbach, Leon Kossoff and Lucien Freud. 

Estimate £30,000-35,000.

View Woman in sunlight, Lilian by David Bomberg on

Sensitive Epstein

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First Portrait of Kathleen by Jacob Epstein - estimate £4000-6000 at Roseberys.

From the Estate of Agi Katz on offer is a bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein (1880-1959). First Portrait of Kathleen, 1921 is another work from one of her favourite artists.

Epstein was one of the most important sculptors in Britain of the 20th century, his works adorning public sites, including Coventry Cathedral, Hyde Park, London, and the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. The artist created highly sensitive works, characterised by textured surfaces and expressive, heavy features.

This is the first sculpture that the artist made of Kathleen Garman, who would go on to be his second wife, after their first meeting in 1921. This work was initially owned by Edward P Schinman, an important Epstein collector and scholar. Casts of this work can be found in public collections including Manchester Art Gallery and The New Art Gallery Walsall.

This bronze comes with an estimate of £4000-6000.

Bid for First Portrait of Kathleen by Jacob Epstein using

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