Buried in Christie’s comments here on their Modern British & Irish art Evening sale in London this week is the fact that Asian buyers are collecting British art:
The top lot for the evening was a world auction record for Ben Nicholson’s ‘April 57 (Arbia 2)’, which realised £3,749,000/$4,648,760/€4,367,585 against an estimate of £600,000-800,000. Further records were achieved for John Minton’s ‘Jamaican Village’ (1951) (£293,000/$363,320/€341,345), which had not been seen in public since it was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1951 and Edward Wadsworth’s ‘Imaginary Harbour I’ (1934) (£197,000/$244,280/€229,505), a work formerly belonging to Robert Harling, a friend of Ian Fleming’s and an astute collector of Modern British Art. These results reflect continued interest in distinguished private collections following the second auction of work from The Leslie Waddington Collection, which concluded on 22 November. Bidding from Asia was particularly strong, underlining the growing global appeal for this dynamic category that represents the diversity of artists working in Britain and Ireland during the last two centuries.