Auctions - Life and Style - The Independent


Recent auction prices of pounds 20,000 or so for E H Shepard's delightful illustrations for A A Milne's Christopher Robin books seem to put his work beyond our pocket. But outside the charmed circle of Robin, Pooh and Tigger, Shepard drawings can be picked up quite cheaply. Christie's South Kensington expects only pounds 150-pounds 250 for Shepard's pencil and watercolour drawing of a pensive Edwardian paterfamilias holding at arm's length a newspaper with a headline about the war in Russia, in its sale of original illustrations and illustrated books, Friday (11am).

The drawing displays the unmistakable Shepard casualness - he makes drawing look so easy - together with his unerring eye for the pose of individuals absorbed in thought or some mundane activity. Pretentious, perhaps, to compare him with Vermeer, but it's funny how the folk in both 17th century Delft and Hundred Acre Wood seem to be up to nothing much, apart from savouring the poignancy of he moment. There are seven other Shepard drawings in the sale, with estimates ranging from pounds 200 to pounds 600.

Less familiar images of William Heath Robinson are likely to be cheaper, too. He is chiefly sought after for his drawings of outrageous contraptions - such as the one for inserting peas into the mouth - which sell for pounds 1,500- pounds 2,000, especially in colour. Two unmechanical but equally charming monochrome wash drawings of his are estimated at only pounds 600-pounds 900 in the sale. One shows four old men disguising their bald pates as eggs in an attempt to lure wild turkeys to their nest, the other a gravity-defying edelweiss gatherer supported on a cliff face by a turkey fledgling.

Still funny today? A seaside postcard original by the saucy Donald McGill has a lower estimate than usual - pounds 200-pounds 400 - because in the last sale, in December, nobody found his cartoon of "The chubby boy", estimated pounds 250- pounds 350, funny enough to buy. Someone did bid pounds 540, over pounds 300-pounds 500 estimate, for one captioned "Oh, Mr Murgatroyd, how bare-faced of you". The pencil- and-watercolour in this sale has a fat, buck-toothed countryman with carpet bag eyeing two well-endowed London lasses, with the caption "No wonder they call this the Metropolis".

Next Saturday (1pm), Bonhams holds its ninth sale of 20th century design - and the first since Sotheby's and Christie's South Kensington muscled in on the market last month (selling 69 and 86 per cent respectively). Bonhams has out-trendied them both by emphasising design rather than decorative arts. The result is a sale so surreal that you can flip through the catalogue hardly knowing whether you are looking at chairs or table lamps. There is a deliberate absence of illustrations of boring old Eames reclining chairs and no sign of other staple 20th century fare such as the Italian "Jo" baseball-glove sofa.

Among the new-to-auction lots are the Italian Studio 65's 1971 Capitello chair, in the shape of an Ionic capital, and - Italian again - a giant pink polyurethane foot made by Gaetano Pesce in 1969, "Up 7, il Piede", at pounds 4,000-pounds 5,000. That estimate should be steep enough to deter the dowdy, down-dressing young voyeurs who packed South Ken's sale but were too clueless to snap up the few lots estimated at less than studio door prices. There are no in-production lots in this sale. Honest, guv.

Single-owner collections often present buyers with a once-only choice of dozens of something previously uncommon at auction - and at a price lower than single specimens might attract. For example, Christie's South Kensington's sale of scientific instruments, Thursday (2pm) has 30 pocket- sized coin-weighing balances from the 17th-19th centuries when coin-clipping was rife, ranging in estimate from pounds 300-pounds 400 to pounds 1,000-pounds 1,200. An 18th century German example est pounds 700-pounds 1,100 has a lion-shaped knob to hoist the pair of brass pans and a set of weights representing the ecu, ducat, noaille and guine.

John Windsor

John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    HR Manager - Kent - £45,000

    £40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: HR Manager / Training Manager (L&D /...

    Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

    Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

    £26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

    Retail Business Analyst

    £40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

    Day In a Page

    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

    Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

    The Imitation Game, film review
    England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

    England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

    Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

    Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    ‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

    Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week