Burne-Jones' Days of Creation set to auction at Bonhams

The Days of Creation, a highly detailed pencil study by Edward Burne-Jones, is to auction at Bonhams London on January 23.

The piece by the esteemed pre-Raphaelite artist carries a £150,000-250,000 ($240,000-400,000) presale estimate. Comparable works by Burne-Jones have previously sold for substantial sums, including the oil on canvas A Sea Nymph, which brought £1.1m ($2m) at Christie's in June 2005.

The Days of Creation
The six panel work deals with the enduring theme of creation

The museum grade sketch was previously exhibited at The New Gallery in London between 1898 and 1899. Its re-emergence coincides with a resurgence of interest in the pre-Raphaelite artists, with the Tate's Pre Raphaelites: Victorian Avant Garde exhibition, which runs until January 13, continuing to draw large crowds. The sketch itself remains thematically important as it deals with the familiar pre-Raphaelite tropes of religiosity and classical literature.  

Dating from approximately 1871, The Days of Creation sketch was subsequently translated by Burne-Jones into the celebrated gouache on linen work of the same title. Bonhams insists: "Rather than a preparatory sketch, the present piece should be considered a semi-independent work, executed as much for the artist's personal pleasure as to mark a distinction between his stained glass designs and a fully completed easel work."

Having resided in a private collection for many years, the reappearance of the drawing comes at a time when the top end of the art market is experiencing strong results: Raphael's Head of an Apostle became the most valuable old master drawing ever auctioned, when it realised £29.7m ($47.8m) earlier this month.

At Paul Fraser Collectibles we currently have a wealth of art and photography collectibles in stock, including two original works by the modern master Damien Hirst.  

For more art auction information, please sign up for our free weekly newsletter.

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