A major and very rare work by the First World War artist, Christopher Nevinson, which has never appeared at auction before is to be sold at Bonhams Print Sale at New Bond Street, London on 17 April. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.
Depicting a British soldier in the act of hurling a grenade, The Bomber is one of the few prints in which Nevinson adopted the Futurist style pioneered in Italy by Filippo Marinetti and Giacomo Balla. The dramatic jagged-edged nature of the image prefigures the destruction which the bomb will cause.
The Bomber was executed in 1918 when Nevinson was suffering from depression and acute stress. He referred to "my fits of melancholy which end in sleeplessness." He had effectively stopped painting at this time but found refuge in printmaking.
Bonhams Print specialist Rupert Worrall, said, "This is a very rare work indeed. Although Nevinson typically produced around 25 copies of his war prints, many of these have not survived. Only one other copy of The Bomber is definitely known to exist and it is in the Print Collection of the British Museum".
Nevinson's war time prints are very highly sought after. In February this year Bonhams sold The Doctor (The Out-patient), dating from 1916, for the exceptional price of £50,140 at its Knightsbridge Print sale.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and appraisal services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com