'Rolling Stones drugs bust art' by Richard Hamilton auctions at Bonhams

Here's a quick reminder that important works by the printmaker and Father of British Pop-Art, Richard Hamilton, who died earlier this year, will lead Bonhams' Print sale on 29 November in London.

They include 'Release' his famous depiction of the arrest of Mick Jagger and art dealer, Robert Fraser, for possession of drugs at a notorious party at the country house of Bill Whyman.  

Jagger's subsequent conviction provoked an outcry and an editorial in the Times under the heading, "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?" questioning the sentence. 

The event remains legendary to this day - the press took great interest in Jagger's band mate Keith Richards' recent account of the bust in his autobiography, Life - and helped cemented the Stones' reputations as the 'bad boy alternative' to The Beatles.

Hamilton's 1972 artwork, Release, depicts his art dealer alongside Mick Jagger

Based on a photograph printed in the Daily Sketch on 29 June 1967, 'Release' was created in 1972 to raise money for a prisoners' charity and became one of Hamilton's best known images.  It is estimated at £15,000-20,000.        

Unlike many of their '60s-'70s rock contemporaries, the Stones have remained a force to be reckoned with over the years - thanks in part to the group's wealth of classic tunes and mammoth tours around the globe.

In fact, the average value of a Rolling Stones group photograph rose from £5,500 to £5,950 over the last year - that's 8.18% - and by an incredible 498.0% over the past 11 years.

An example which Paul Fraser Collectibles recently sold is especially rare and valued: an EP cover signed by all five Rolling Stones including the signature of late original band member Brian Jones. Because Jones is deceased, such autographs are worth thousands on today's collectors' markets.

But you don't need a budget of thousands if you're looking to buy a rare Rolling Stones collectible for a family member this Christmas. Examples we currently have in stock at Paul Fraser Collectibles include this autograph by Jagger himself priced at just £495.

Meanwhile other highlights in Bonhams' upcoming sale include 'Picasso's Meninas' (£15,000-20,000), a witty take on Velazquez's most famous picture as interpreted by another Spanish master, Picasso.

It comes from Hamilton's portfolio, 'Homage à Picasso', executed in 1973 as part of the celebrations to mark Picasso's 90th birthday. Drawing both on the original and on Picasso's own 58 interpretations of 'Las Meninas', Hamilton, in fact, paid homage to the work of both men.  

Picassos Meninas-richard-hamilton

Picasso's Meninas, Hamilton's homage to the Spanish great master,
will appear in Bonhams' sale with a £15,00-20,000 pre-sale estimate

In complete contrast is a very early work, 'Structure' which dates from 1950. 

This rare etching with aquatint and roulette, is one of only a few impressions. It is signed and numbered 4/20 in pencil and was printed by the artist at the Slade School of Art, London. The artwork is estimated at £2,000-3,000.

Watch this space for more news on Bonhams' sale.

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