20th century British art makes World Records at Bonhams

Bonhams sale of 20th Century British Art exceeded expectations, this week, when it made a £2m total and a brand new World Record price for a Helen Bradley picture sold at auction, for £144,000.

Bradley (1900-1979) - who started painting in her sixties, and died shortly before she was due to be honoured with an MBE - had previously commanded £97,000 as a best price at auction.

The World Record picture, titled Blackpool Beach, a sunny image of bathers, had been estimated to sell for £70,000-90,000.

Helen Bradley's Blackpool Beach, sold for £97,000

The Bradley sale "produced strength across the board" with the 90 lots offered generally doing well, according to a statement from Bonhams.

Fourth highest price in the sale went to a recently discovered David Bomberg (1890-1957). The Canal Lock sold for £84,000 against a pre-sale estimate of £30,000-50,000.

Other notable results from among the top ten in the sale included a beautiful picture by Sir Alfred James Munnings (1878-1959), titled The Start, Newmarket, which made £524,000.

Sir Alfred James Munnings' The Start, Newmarket, sold for £524,000

It is the first time that this work has been offered at auction.

A picture by Sir Kyffin Williams (1918-2006), titled Bull, also performed strongly with a £50,400 price against a pre-sale estimate of £8,000-12,000.

There was also an LS Lowry (1887-1976) 'Newtown' which went for £43,200 and a Dame Elisabeth Frink (1930-1993) titled `Assassins' which made £62,400 having been expected to sell for £20,000-30,000.


  • More news on Art
  • Enjoy the read? Don't forget to sign up for your free newsletter with exclusive content

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock