Cyril Power stole the show at Bonham’s last week when, in one of those fairy-tale discoveries-in-the-attic, his linocut Speed Trial (c.1932, edition of 60), which had hung on the seller’s wall unidentified for 25 years, sold for a staggering £73,250. In a nostalgic nod to the 150th anniversary of the Underground, Power’s Futuristic 1930s prints of Tube stations and escalators fetched similarly eye-watering sums.
These are highly attractive, graphic, modernist prints which have some rarity value given their variable condition. Even so, it is quite extraordinary for editioned prints (which at the first exhibition of British Linocuts back in January 1929 would have sold for just two guineas each) to fetch such stratospheric sums.
For collectors keen to acquire more – or fans for whom Power’s prints are now out of reach – Philip Vann’s complete catalogue of Cyril Power’s linocuts (my Book of the Week), which includes large-format illustrations of all of Power’s linocuts with detailed technical information about their production, is an invaluable resource. Newly printed hardback copies of the book have just arrived in our warehouse, in time for the opening of the London Original Print Fair this week, where you can see original linocuts by Power and his Grosvenor School contemporaries on the stand of Osborne Samuel gallery.
Across the road from the Print Fair, at Sims Reed Bookshop, we’re exhibiting some more recent artists’ prints, produced alongside some of our artist monographs and print catalogues. Come along tonight to the private view, or drop by between 25 April and 3 May 2013. For mere hundreds of pounds (and with a special 10% discount offer valid during the exhibition) you can buy an original print by Modern Brits such as Terry Frost, Peter Blake and Barbara Rae. Given the unpredictability of the art market, you never know what you might be investing in.
Lucy Myers, Managing Director
Cyril Power Linocuts: A Complete Catalogue by Philip Vann. 2013. Hardback. 112 pages. 82 colour and 20 b&w illustrations. £30 / $60