Revered British Artist Goes to Auction

Not to mention diamonds, Hermès, and much, much more.

Revered British Artist Goes to Auction

Lots Road’s upcoming sale, taking place on Sunday 23 June at their Chelsea premises, is filled with exciting artworks, jewellery, handbags, furniture and more. From Mary Fedden to a diamond and sapphire ring and Hermès, Lots Road has all your bases covered. Let’s take a closer look at the sale.

Mary Fedden, ‘A Rose in a Mug’, oil on canvas. Photo: Lots Road
Mary Fedden, ‘A Rose in a Mug’, oil on canvas. Photo: Lots Road

Mary Fedden OBE RA RWA (1915-2012) was a Bristol-born British artist. As a teenager she attended Bristol’s Badminton School, but left in 1932 at the age of 16 for the Slade School of Fine Arts, which she attended until 1936. Fedden said, ‘after Badminton, the Slade was like stepping from hell into heaven’. There, she was a pupil of theatre designer Vladimir Polunin, and when she finished her studies she taught, painted portraits and created stage designs for Sadler’s Wells Theatre, but decided against stage design as a career.

Fedden then returned to Bristol where she taught art and made a living by painting portraits. When World War II broke out, she served in the Land Army and the Woman’s Voluntary Service, and on settling in London was commissioned to produce murals for the war effort. In 1944 she was called up for duty and sent abroad as a driver for the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes.

In 1946 she resumed easel painting and developed her own, distinct style of flower paintings and still life, reminiscent of artists such as Matisse and Braque. In a 1995 interview with The Artist she said, “I really float from influence to influence…. I found the early Ben Nicholsons fascinating as were the paintings of his wife Winifred. I also admire the Scottish artist Anne Redpath and the French painter Henri Hayden.”  

Mary Fedden, ‘A Rose in a Mug’ [detail], oil on canvas. Photo: Lots Road
Mary Fedden, ‘A Rose in a Mug’ [detail], oil on canvas. Photo: Lots Road

As in A Rose in a Mug, Fedden’s subjects are typically executed in a bold, expressive style with vivid, contrasting colours, though some of her later work used a more limited tonal range. Different elements are commonly contrasted, as with these fresh blue and whites against the brown pear and checked floor.

Texture is another important element in Fedden’s work. In her watercolours she emphasised the rough texture of her favourite Indian papers, and in her oils, as here, the paint strokes and dabs of colours are vibrant and apparent as her colour choices.

Seven Carat Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Photo: Lots Road
Seven Carat Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Photo: Lots Road

For those who wish to decorate more than just their walls, stunning pieces of jewellery also make their way into the sale, including this seven-carat sapphire and diamond ring. A superlative addition to any jewellery collection, this stunning ring is just one of the many interesting and coveted pieces available in the auction.

Hermès 35 Birkin Bag. Photo: Lots Road
Hermès 35 Birkin Bag. Photo: Lots Road

From c. 2013, this gold tone hardware, padlock, keys and cloche Hermès Birkin Bag is also included in the auction. There are also bags by other top designers available, including Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Kenzo, Gucci and more.

As a reminder, Lots Road’s sale is taking place this Sunday 23 June. Get your paddles ready.

Explore all items available at Lots Road here

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