The market for Prints & Multiples continues to flourish. Our £4.1 million sale total comfortably exceeded the pre-sale low estimate, with 57% of works sold achieving prices above their high estimates. We saw strong prices in all areas: the Old Masters section brought a combined total in excess of the pre-sale high estimate for the 42 lots; the top lot of the sale was Munch's Two Human Beings. The Lonely Ones, the very rare woodcut in grey and black; and the Contemporary section was led by Pop icons Warhol, Haring and Lichtenstein, with a record auction price for the subject made by Lichtenstein's Blue with Nude Hair.
The September Prints & Multiples sale features some of the most beloved and classic subjects from over six centuries of printmaking. Albrecht Dürer never saw a rhinoceros in his lifetime, but his 1515 woodcut The Rhinoceros was taken to be an accurate representation of the animal into the late 18th century. Edvard Munch’s paramount depiction of woman, Madonna, appears in two versions of the 1902 lithograph. The American and British Pop art movements are well-represented with pivotal works by Andy Warhol, such as the $ and Queen Elizabeth complete sets, Roy Lichtenstein’s Reverie from 1965 and Nude with Blue Hair from 1994, and Richard Hamilton with Release and Picasso’s Meninas. Further highlights include two rare prints from 20th century Germany: Gerhard Richter’s Flugzeug I from 1966 and Wassily Kandinsky’s Am Strande from 1903, both very early within the respective artists’ oeuvre. Finally, the Madonna lithographs are amongst a strong group of ten lots that fully illustrate the importance of printmaking for Munch as a form of expression.