On 19 November Sotheby’s offered A Way of Life: The Tim Ellis Collection of Modern British Art which achieved ‘white glove’ status, with 100% of the 142 lots sold. The collection, assembled by Tim Ellis over the course of 30 years, exceeded pre-sale expectations and totalled £1.2m (est. £561,750 – 818,850) and drew competitive bidding from as many as 15 bidders for a single lot. A significant number of new buyers were attracted to the sale – 28% of buyers were new to Sotheby’s, and another 30% were Sotheby’s existing clients who were drawn to the Modern & Post War British Art collecting category for the first time. The sale achieved excellent results, including the second highest price at auction for a work by Keith Vaughan, and a world record price for a sculpture by George Kennethson.
A highly personal and eclectic mix of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and ceramics, assembled over thirty years, the Tim Ellis Collection is a fascinating insight into the breadth of creativity in Britain in the 20th century. With objects by some of the period's leading artists, mixed in with work by the lesser-known and often unfairly overlooked, and with prices ranging from £100 to £100,000, this is a sale that truly has something for everyone, from the first-time buyers to the most seasoned of Modern British collectors.