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22nd Sep 2020
Figures in Extensive landscapes one of a pair of oils by Gwyneth Johnstone estimate 20000 30000

One of the most important corporate art collections to come onto the market in recent times will go under the hammer next month when the 126 paintings amassed by media company Archant come up for sale in a special sale hosted by Keys Auctioneers and Valuers on 10th October.

The Archant Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art, which includes works by Gwyneth Johnstone, Mary Newcomb, Tessa Newcomb, James Dodds, Derrick Greaves, John Bellamy, Maggi Hambling and Gerard Stamp, was accumulated by the Norfolk-based company over a 175 year period, after the organisation was co-founded by the Colman family (of mustard fame) in 1845.

Highlights of the sale include:

  • ‘Figures in extensive landscapes’, a pair of oils on board by Gwyneth Johnstone, which have a pre-sale estimate of £20,000-£30,000
  • ‘Passage from Hull’ by Mary Newcomb (£8,000-£10,000)
  • ‘Sunset in France’ by Mary Fedden (estimate £7,000-£10,000)
  • ‘Self-portrait with nude’ by John Bellamy (estimate £3,000-£5,000)
  • ‘Utensils 2001’ by Derrick Greaves (estimate £3,000-£4,000)
  • ‘Small yellow boat’ by James Dodds (estimate £2,000-£3,000)

“Archant, which was formerly known as Eastern Counties Newspapers, is a firm with a long heritage in East Anglia, and remains a leading national player in the media world,” said Kevin Lines, director and head of fine art at Keys.

“This fine collection of works by modern and contemporary artists was amassed over nearly two centuries by the families which owned the company for most of its existence.  Many generations of those families had a really good eye for the best contemporary painters, and the quality of the works on offer reflect this.

“Such an important corporate collection coming to the market will elicit interest from art-lovers right across the UK and beyond.”

The collection has been on display within Archant’s Norwich headquarters for many years, with a number of pieces lent to major exhibitions, including several which formed part of the landmark ‘Masterpieces’ exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in 2013.

The Archant Collection of Modern and Contemporary Art Sale takes place on Saturday 10th October online on Keys’ live bidding platform KeysLive (bid.keysauctions.co.uk) and at www.the-saleroom.com.  The catalogue can be found online at bid.keysauctions.co.uk.