Pieces by the Great Bardfield Artists to go under auctioneer’s hammer

PUBLISHED: 08:28 14 March 2019

The Road to Thaxted, a lino-cut by Edward Bawden from 1956

The Road to Thaxted, a lino-cut by Edward Bawden from 1956


Work by the Great Bardfield Artists is part of a lot being auctioned in Cambridge on March 21.

On sale are a lino-cut called the Road to Thaxted, by Edward Bawden, expected to reach between £3,000 and £5,000, and an oil painting by Kenneth Rowntree, Mlle Manicette Caniere, expected to go for between £1,000 and £2,000.

They are part of a collection of paintings owned by Hertfordshire County Council up for sale at Cheffins Fine Art Auctioneers.

The council is selling 428 paintings from its 1,828-strong art collection.

Those being offered at Cheffins feature 11 works from some of the Great Bardfield Artists, a community who lived in Great Bardfield from 1930-1970, and played a leading role in designing post-war Britain.

The group held regular open house exhibitions throughout the 1950s which attracted international attention, making the artists involved household names overnight.

A lino-cut by Bawden called Brighton Pier is estimated to sell at between £4,000 and £6,000. Bawden lived in Saffron Walden towards the end of his life with buildings named after him. Other works by George Chapman and Michael Rothenstein have lower estimates at less than £1,000, and are likely to be popular with collectors.

Altogether, the sale has the potential to achieve more than £25,000 in total.

The Great Bardfield Artists were among the most respected and influential artists of the period, specialising in figurative painting and printmaking.

After the height of their popularity, their work was overlooked for some years but interest was reignited in the late 1980s when the Fry Gallery in Saffron Walden opened in 1987. It now has the Bardfield Artists’ national collection.

Other Essex-based artists in the sale include Robert MacBryde and Michael Ayrton, with estimates of £7,000-£10,000 and £1,000- £2,000. Robert MacBryde, originally from Scotland, lived at Tilty Mill near Dunmow and Michael Ayrton spent some years in Toppesfield, near Braintree.

Sale from 11am.

Viewing Times: Saturday/Sunday, March 16, 17, 10am–2pm, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday March 18, 19, 20, 10am –5pm. Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge, UK, CB1 7EA.

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