Poster nets grand sum

PUBLISHED: 15:23 22 May 2009 | UPDATED: 21:47 31 May 2010

A RARE poster which advertises a Saffron Walden festival and was designed by a famous artist has smashed its estimated price at auction. The poster, which was created by Essex artist Edward Bawden, was sold for more than £4000 at Sworders auction house i

A RARE poster which advertises a Saffron Walden festival and was designed by a famous artist has smashed its estimated price at auction.

The poster, which was created by Essex artist Edward Bawden, was sold for more than £4000 at Sworders auction house in Stansted Mountfitchet on Tuesday.

The signed linocut called Church and Thunderstorm was bought via the telephone by a private collector living on the south coast.

An auction spokesman said: "It clearly depicts the parish church of St. Mary's, with its majestic spire and castellated roof, set dramatically in a thunderstorm as the sunlight breaks through."

The poster advertises a festival which was held in Saffron Walden in the summer of 1975 and is sufficiently rare that auctioneer Guy Schooling estimated it would sell for between £2500 and £3500. The piece eventually sold for £4059.

Sworders Fine Art Auctioneers on Cambridge Road has sold Bawden's paintings on many occasions.

The artist records this particular design as being the second edition of the 1975 festival poster, but it is recognisably different from the original: it has no wording and it is an artist's proof - meaning that it was Bawden's own test print.

Although it is marked as being one of a run of 50 prints, it is not known how many were actually ever made, as they would have been done to order.

The piece is signed by Bawden and dated 1980 - five years after the festival.

Bawden, who was born in Braintree, has become increasingly celebrated over the last few years as the originality of his work is recognised.

He entered the Royal College of Art in 1922, becoming a fellow student of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, who were to become internationally famous.

Many works by the artist Edward Bawden (1903-1989) are on display in Saffron Walden's Fry Art Gallery which is next to the Bridge End Gardens off Castle Street.

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