British Naïve school, The Market Street, Haddington (around 1850) Exhibition of Antique Folk Art, Robert Young Antiques, London, 5-14 May
Priced at £20,000 (sold)
As testified by an old label on the back, this 19th-century townscape depicting the Market Street in Haddington, in East Lothian, Scotland, passed through London’s Rutland Gallery in the 1970s. Its director, Christopher Bibby, was a great champion of humble British Naïve art. The oil on canvas is the largest and most significant such painting that the London dealer Robert Young has handled to date. Acquired from a regional UK auction, it now features in his spring exhibition of Folk art. “Naive works should never be compared with mainstream art, as there are philosophical and technical complexities involved,” Young says. “But this work does pre-empt L.S. Lowry in many ways, particularly the area and space given over to sky and the individual pockets of street activity.”
CRW Nevinson, Le Port (1919) Fine Art Society at the London Original Print Fair, 5-8 May
Priced at £15,000 (unsold at the fair)
At the inception of the London Original Print Fair in 1985, the bias was towards Old Masters but the pendulum has now swung to Modern and contemporary. The fair’s founder, Gordon Cooke, is also exhibiting as the director of the Fine Art Society and will be bringing this lithograph of a port by the 20th-century British artist Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson. The port is probably Cherbourg, where Nevinson arrived in November 1918 on his way to Paris. The ships are shown using their lights for the first time since before the First World War, as black-out regulations were relaxed after the Armistice.
Mbole male ancestor figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo Malcolm, part one: New York, Sotheby’s, New York, 7 May
Estimate $1.2m-$1.8m (sold for $1.2m with premium)
Certain names become synonymous with a field and so it is with the Malcolm collection of Sub-Saharan African art. Marian Malcolm and her late husband, Daniel, acquired their first piece in 1966 and, over the next five decades, formed an admired survey collection of the major Sub-Saharan sculptural forms, which they lent widely to museum exhibitions. Sotheby’s is now organising a two-part Malcolm auction in the centres of tribal art collecting, New York (7 May) and Paris (22 June). With just 12 lots each, the sales carry a combined estimate in excess of $10m. In New York, this rare ofika statue made by the Mbole people of the north-eastern Congo is suspended in a bent-knee, pointed-toe pose, perhaps evoking the passage between life and death.