William Turnbull (British, born 1922) Paddle Venus Five 80.9 cm. (31 3/4 in.)
Lot 72AR
William Turnbull (British, born 1922) Paddle Venus Five 80.9 cm. (31 3/4 in.) high (including base)
Sold for £28,750 (US$ 45,124) inc. premium

Lot Details
William Turnbull (British, born 1922)
Paddle Venus Five
signed with monogram, numbered and dated '2/6 85' (on the bronze base)
bronze with portland stone base
80.9 cm. (31 3/4 in.) high (including base)
Conceived in 1985

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    With the Waddington Galleries, London

    EXHIBITED:
    London, Waddington Galleries, William Turnbull, Sculptures, 1946-62, 1985-87, 1987, cat.no.16 (another cast)

    LITERATURE:
    Amanda A. Davidson, The Sculpture of William Turnbull, Henry Moore Foundation & Lund Humphries, Hertfordshire, 2005, cat.no.235, p.167 (another cast ill.b&w)

    William Turnbull's Paddle Venus Five sits within a body of work exploring the notion of Idols which includes Masks, Heads, Paddles and Totems, that dominates the latter half of his career. Totemic, feminine and commanding Paddle Venus Five finds its roots in the tradition of Tjurunga's; carved sacred objects, representational to the Aboriginal tribes of Central Australia as communicative devises between humanity and the Dreamtime. These are objects of such divinity that to acquire the right to possess one a tribesman would be required to undertake a personal journey of great pain and toil to prove worth and only a select few where granted the right to lay eyes on a Tjurunga with reproduction considered sacrilegious.

    Suggestive both of a fertility figurine and a primitive tool, Paddle Venus Five incorporates marks from a personal vocabulary of symbols that Turnbull has been exploring throughout his career, specifically a combination of dots, lines and protrusions which reinforce the feminine aspect suggested by title.
Auction information

Bonhams' November sale achieved a number of high profile records, including the highest price in London that week within a sale of Modern British Art - Allies by Lawrence Holofcener fetched an impressive £409,250. The department are especially proud to have secured a new world auction record for Walter Richard Sickert. Painted circa 1904, Woman in Profile with Downcast Eyes was discovered in Australia and following intense bidding realized £229,250. Irish Art fared well too, with Paul Henry's charming Old-Age Pensioners going for £109,250 while Colin finding Irish buyers.

The next auction will take place on 29 May and closes for entry in April. Already consigned are museum quality works that are fresh to market by LS Lowry, FE McWilliam and Edward Seago, among others.

For confidential advice or appraisals please contact a member of the department. Our London-based specialists travel throughout the UK and in 2013 and will also be visiting locations including Ireland, South Africa, US, Canada, Hong Kong and Australia.

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