Piper calls the tune at art sale

'Portland Trio' by John PiperThe traditional and the modern were both in demand at Lawrences’ recent auction of 300 lots of pictures in Crewkerne, with a 1954 canvas by John Piper entitled ‘Portland Trio’ (left) ending the sale by hitting another high note with a hammer price of £10,500.

A rare engraving of `The Blackwell Ox` from 1780 made £730 and a collection of 38 caricatures and illustrations from the 1770-1950 era, divided into nine lots, exceeded hopes to make £9880. A damaged portrait of a Knight of Malta met with keen interest from Malta to make £2920 and a further group of portraits also sold well: a portrait of King Lady Katherine Erskine, daughter of the Earl of BuchanHenry IV of France made £4880; a portrait of Admiral Sir John Leake, ascribed to Sir Godfrey Kneller, made £3660; and a portrait of Lady Katherine Erskine, daughter of the Earl of Buchan (right), proved to be decorative and good enough quality to take £12,200.

A pair of views of Valletta (Malta) by Gerolamo Gianni made £4500, despite one being in damaged condition and a fine view of HMS Royal Adelaide at Devonport had good provenance so made £5490 against hopes of £3000. A collection of pictures from a West Country collection, assembled by the vendor between 1955 and 1985, yielded three special Moonlit landscapehighlights when a fine quality moonlit landscape (left) was bid to £6220, a charming portrait of a Hereford cow by the little-known H. J. Quintin was bought for £5120 and a superb 19th Century still life by the very scarce Calcutta-based artist Alfred George Palmer made £6340. The collection totalled just over £35000

Damien Hirst skullA commercial offering of Modern British pictures produced a string of four-figure results, thanks to valuable contributions from the collection of the late lady Isabel Throckmorton and from a private collection in Staffordshire: a large watercolour by contemporary Welsh artist Peter Prendergast made £7560, the second highest recorded auction price for the artist; and a spin painting of a skull (right) with excellent provenance by Damien Hirst made £8290.

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