Drawings by famous artist are set to go under the hammer

PUBLISHED: 08:25 29 April 2019 | UPDATED: 08:33 29 April 2019

Drawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins� Art & Design Sale. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Drawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins� Art & Design Sale. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

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Drawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins' auctioneers on May 9.

Drawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins� Art & Design Sale. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDDrawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins� Art & Design Sale. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The drawings were found by the present owner hidden at the back of a chest of drawers which was purchased from Olive Cook's house following her death in 2012.

They were only found recently when the owner was having the piece of furniture restored.

Brett Tryner, associate at Cheffins, said: “When Edward Bawden moved to Saffron Walden following the death of his wife in 1970, he forged a close friendship with the writer and artist Olive Cook who was already living in the town. Such was their partnership that the two artists helped establish the Fry Art Gallery in the 1980s.

“We have seen that Edward Bawden's work has become increasingly popular, especially with local collectors, as proved by the large sums achieved for his work at auction last month. He was one of the founding members of the famous and influential Great Bardfield Artists who were prolific throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s.”

Drawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins� Art & Design Sale. Picture: CONTRIBUTEDDrawings by famous artist Edward Bawden to Saffron Walden-based writer and painter Olive Cook will go under the hammer at Cheffins� Art & Design Sale. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

The drawing on offer is inscribed 'To Olive/with love & best wishes/for Christmas & the New Year/from/Edward'.

Bawden taught at the Royal College of Art, where he had been a student, worked as a commercial artist and served as a war artist in the Second World War. He was born in Braintree and died in Saffron Walden at the age of 86 in 1989.

Last month, Cheffins offered three pictures by Bawden at auction as part of the Hertfordshire County Council collection. Titled The Road to Thaxted, Brighton Pier and Town Hall Yard the pictures sold for £8,500 apiece and £6,000 respectively.

His work can be seen in many major collections and is shown regularly at the Fry Art Gallery.

Like so many of the other 20th century artists, Cook's importance is only now starting to become appreciated. Born in Cambridge in 1912, she worked as a freelance writer and artist, writing guides to the local area alongside her photographer husband Edwin Smith. She moved to Saffron Walden in 1962.

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