Sotheby's Specialists Select Treasures from the Fine Art Society

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Among London's oldest commercial art galleries, the Fine Art Society will soon bring to a close the 142 year history of its Bond Street premises. Sotheby's upcoming sale on 5 February will feature works by some of the most esteemed artists, printmakers and craftsmen of the last 150 years, from James McNeill Whistler to William Edward Godwin. Click the image above to view the slideshow of specialists' picks from the sale.

Sotheby's Specialists Select Treasures from the Fine Art Society

  • George Faulkner Armitage
    The Fine Art Society Drawing, Print and Folio Table, circa 1883
    Estimate £10,000–15,000
    "This table has enjoyed a long and close association with the Fine Art Society, appearing as an integral part of the Entrance Gallery in T. R. Davison’s drawing of 1891. It also appears in photographs from the start of the 20th century onwards in various locations at 148 New Bond Street. Armitage referred to his work for The Fine Art Society as a 'semi-public' commission, which gives a sense of how he saw the gallery and his own work. At the Huddersfield Exhibition, The Cabinet Maker and Art Furnisher review from 1 September 1883 referred to the furniture shown by him - including the present table - and praised them for their 'Utility, strength and comeliness.'" - David Macdonald, English Furniture
  • Alfred Gilbert
    Eros
    Estimate £100,000–150,000
    "Gilbert’s Eros is one of London’s iconic statues. Like the original in Piccadilly Circus, this monumental sculpture is cast from aluminium. It is one of only a few made in 1987 from the original moulds. With its striking metallic patina and Renaissance inspired form, Gilbert’s Eros is a unique fusion of modern and classical" - Christopher Mason, European Sculpture and Works of Art.
  • Graham Sutherland, O.M.
    Hop Fields, circa 1925
    Estimate £30,000–50,000
    "As with this painting, many of Sutherland’s best works from this period include elements from the Kent and Sussex landscape near Shoreham where Sutherland’s great influence, the 19th-century artist Samuel Palmer, had lived and been inspired. The use of ink and wash permitted him to build an image of great intensity." - Nicholas Hemming-Brown, Modern & Post-War British Art
  • Francis Derwent Wood
    Torso, 1900
    Estimate £7,000–10,000
    "This beautiful bronze embodies the quintessence of human beauty. The female figure stands in elegant contrapposto, her body reduced to just the torso, recalling fragments of ancient statuary. It is a particularly alluring homage to the feminine form." - Christopher Mason, European Sculpture and Works of Art.
  • Robert Polhill Bevan
    Horses in a Stable (Colnaghi 1), Etching, 1890
    Estimate £1,500–2,000
    "Robert Polhill Bevan’s love of the horse is particularly evident in this intimate portrait of two docile cobs. The inviting stable scene is one of just three etchings the artist created during his Brittany sojourn – a four-year period that was briefly interrupted by his stint as Master of Foxhounds in Tangiers. Working alongside Gauguin’s circle at Pont-Aven, Bevan embraced bold colours, but this rare proof demonstrates the Colourist’s talent as a draughtsman." - Jennifer Strotz, Prints.
  • In the Manner of Edward William Godwin
    'Greek' Chair, circa 1885
    Estimate £6,000–8,000
    "Godwin’s first ‘Greek’ chair was inspired by a stool depicted on the East Frieze of the Parthenon Marbles in the British Museum. The first sketch he made of the stool dates around 1883. The first version of the ‘Greek’ chair showed historicist references that were later simplified, producing a stripped-down abstract form. This modernist form, combined with a rush seat, allows this example to sit alongside pieces from the Arts and Crafts movement of the early 20th century." - Adam Trunoske, 20th Century Design
  • James McNeill Whistler
    The Rialto (Kennedy 211; Glasgow 199), Etching with drypoint, 1879-80
    Estimate £7,000–9,000
    "Perched at a first-floor window above the Sottoportico Pirieta, Whistler captured this unique perspective of Venice’s bustling Rialto Bridge. Published by the Fine Art Society as part of Whistler’s “Second Venice Set”, The Rialto is perhaps one of his best known views of the enchanting city. It’s an icon of an icon. In true Whistler fashion, he found an inventive way to present a ubiquitous, world-famous landmark." - Jennifer Strotz, Prints.
  • Keith Coventry
    Chicksand Estate
    Estimate £15,000–25,000
    "Keith Coventry uses a combination of politics, contemporary culture and references to other areas of art history to create a fascinating dialogue in his work. In the Estate Paintings, a series started in 1992, he uses the artistic language of the Russian-Suprematist Kasimir Malevich, however Coventry’s shapes are not purely abstract, but rather lifted directly from the coloured, bird’s-eye-view maps found at the entrance to housing estates in London." - Nicholas Hemming-Brown, Modern & Post-War British Art .
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