Colin Gleadell gives a little background around Sotheby’s announcement of the sale of Czech Surrealist works from the Roy and Mary Cullen collection:
In 1997, Sotheby’s held the first auction devoted to modern 20th-century Czech art outside eastern Europe. But it wasn’t until 2011 that they followed it up with the sale of the Norman and Susanne Hascoe collection, which doubled estimates to sell for £11 million, setting 13 artists’ records. Now, with the market for Czech modernism gaining pace, Sotheby’s is offering another important collection for sale in London this November. Roy and Mary Cullen from Houston focused on Czech surrealism from the Twenties and Thirties, which was underpriced when they started buying in the late Nineties. In 2004, a portrait of André Breton by Marie Cermoniva (who was known as Toyen), which had been hidden behind a wardrobe in Breton’s studio for 50 years, was estimated at £4,000 and bought by the Cullens for £44,000. It is estimated to fetch £120,000 to £180,000. An eerie 1936 painting of an owl by Toyen could achieve £700,000.
Market News: Czech and Chinese art on the rise (Telegraph)
The Roy & Mary Cullen Collection PR November 2014