Ethel Spowers' The Joke leads Bonhams' Prints sale

The Joke, a rare linocut by Australian artist Ethel Spowers, has sold for £85,250 ($129,885) at Bonhams, leading the auction house's July 16 Prints auction in London.

Ethel Spowers The Joke
Ethel Spowers’ reputation has grown of late. The Joke (above) is typical of her artistic output

Inscribed "edition of 50" in blue pencil, the 1932 work depicts a group of people laughing. Bonhams observes: "We have found no record of this linocut ever having come to auction and only one impression in the collection of the National Gallery of Australia".

In April 2013, Spowers' limited edition print The Giant Stride also sold for £85,250 ($129,885), suggesting the artist's folk-inspired lithographs are popular among serious collectors.

An Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger-signed screen print featuring a splashy portrait of the Rolling Stones front man also put in a strong performance, selling for £27,500 ($41,934), while Le Port, a rare etching by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson, made £37,250 ($57,790).

Receipt for Humanity, a computerised embroidery by contemporary British artist Grayson Perry, sold for £3,125 ($4,768). Drawn from an edition of 250, the embroidery reads: "You will die, you are alone / There is no God upon his throne / Impose thy will upon earth's mess / Else your life is meaningless / No hell below, no heaven above / Live life now and act with love".

One-off pieces by the Turner Prize-winning artist often prove popular at auction. A large glazed earthenware pot entitled Isn't That Damien Hirst over There? auctioned for £54,000 ($82,366) in February 2005.

Here at Paul Fraser Collectibles, we currently have this Pete Doherty blood painting in stock.

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