The Under the Hammer column with Morphets Of Harrogate: A brush with great art at the latest auction

The sale of Modern British & 20th Century Art to be held at Morphets, the Harrogate auctioneers, on Saturday, January 22 already has a real buzz around it as it hits the web this week followed by the arrival of the illustrated catalogue hot of the press.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 10:20 am
‘Street Scene with Figures’ by Lowry is estimated at £90,000-£120,000

First under the hammer will be Street Scene with Figures by Laurence Stephen Lowry (1887-1976), oil on canvas, 25cm x 36cm, pictured above, the pre-sale estimate is £90,000-£120,000.

This will be followed by a pencil drawing entitled ‘The Tool Shed’, a street scene with figures outside a shop and buildings, estimated at £35,000-£40,000 and an early pencil study of a woman in a hat at £8000-£10,000.

The sale also includes seven signed lithographs by Lowry in colour and monochrome.

‘Habitation’ by Druie Bowett (estimated at £600 - £800).

The small edition runs of up to 75 have estimates ranging from £1,000 to £8,000

The first selection of works from the studio of the late Druie Bowett (1924-1998) consigned by the artist’s family, will include oil paintings, watercolours and drawings in a cross section of the artist’s work from the 1950s up to the 1990s.

These illustrate her progression from representational to abstract, or non-representational, during the 1960s and later.

Born in Ripon she was a founder member of the Midland Group of Artists, a regionally influential collective of Modernist painters with connections to the St Ives Group and leading figures of the British Art scene including Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland and Terry Frost.

There are also a number of works from Bowett’s private collection by her mentor Jean-Georges Simon. Born in Hungary in 1920 he travelled around Europe and studied at the Paris Salon before settling in England in 1938.

He met Druie Bowett in the early 1940s and so began a lifelong friendship. He introduced her to European abstraction and this influence is evident in her work from this time. Works by Jean Georges Simon will be featured in the forthcoming exhibition ‘Their Safe Haven, Hungarian Artists in Britain from the 1930s’ at the Mercer Gallery later this year.

Also being sold is the first part of an extensive private collection of linocuts by Paul Peter Piech (1920-1996), a graphic designer and printmaker who used his art to champion humanitarian and political causes.

His bold, graphic artworks work well in a contemporary setting and proved extremely popular when a number of his work’s came under the hammer at Morphets in 2017.

Also included in the Modern British and 20th Century Art sale are works by Braaq, Mary Fedden, Stuart Walton, Beryl Cook, Philip Naviasky and Peter Brook, amongst others.

Entries are now invited for the first of the 2020’s quarterly Fine Art and Antique Sales, to be held on Thursday, March 5, which will include the contents of a manor house on behalf of a charitable trust.

The consignment includes 17th century and later furniture, English and Oriental ceramics, weapons, works of art, silver, oil paintings and objects of art.

The sale will also include jewellery, fine art, clocks and other antiques and has an entry deadline of Friday, February 7.

For further information of any of these sales please contact Morphets on 01423 530030 or visit