Warhol's Jagger, one-off Dali proofs and Nevinson's WWI campaign to headline Bonhams Prints Sale

16 Jul 2013
London, New Bond Street

The Bonhams Prints Sale in New Bond Street, London, on Tuesday 16th July will feature 177 lots, including many rare pieces and some lithographs never before seen at auction.

Rupert Worrall, Head of the Bonhams Prints Department, said: "With so many rare and unique items on offer, the department is very much looking forward to our 16th July sale.

"Dali's Biblia Sacra set, in particular, is rather exceptional. It is thought to be the only complete signed set in existence. The set that comprises 105 was intended as printer's proofs before the series was editioned and as a result kept out of circulation. The edition itself was not signed.

"Warhol's Mick Jagger was published as part of a portfolio of 10 screenprinted variations of the star. This interpretation is certainly the most striking due to both the dynamic use of areas of bold colours and the idealised contours of Jagger's facial characteristics. Warhol's focus on celebrities ensures the market for his work remains strong.

"With the centenary of the outbreak of WWI next year, CRW Nevinson's war depictions have been attracting considerable attention at auction. We are delighted to be offering two exceptionally rare war campaign posters that feature Nevinson's arresting design of fixed bayonets."

Mick Jagger

Among the highlights is Mick Jagger by American pop-artist Andy Warhol (estimate £20,000 - £30,000). The 111x74cm colour screenprint, produced in 1975, is signed in pencil by the artist and in black felt-tip pen by Rolling Stones frontman Jagger.

Warhol met Jagger in 1963 when the Rolling Stones were just beginning to gain popularity in the US, and went on to design the album cover for Sticky Fingers. He produced a number of prints of Jagger, who became a celebrity on the New York club scene.

Salvador Dali

A very rare complete set of 105 Salvador Dali lithographs that are the only known signed proof plates in existence is expected to sell for between £40,000 and £60,000. The individually-signed 51x40cm colour prints, from the Biblia Sacra series were produced in 1967 and come to auction by decent from the artist's widow. The 105 proofs, with registration marks and colour references aside from the standard (unsigned) edition, are presented in three portfolio boxes, each with text and justification pages signed by Dali in red crayon.

The Biblia Sacra suite comprises 105 lithographs after gouaches executed between 1963 and 1964, and is the largest published suite of Dali's work. Commissioned by an important Dali patron, Guiseppe Albaretto, the prints were first exhibited alongside the original gouaches in New York. Albert Field, author of The Official Catalogue of the Graphic Works of Salvador Dali, noted that the prints were of such high quality that "the only sure way to distinguish one from the other was that the paint on the originals made the surface uneven."

The Grosvenor School

Following the success of April's auction dedicated to their work, the department will also offer a number of prints from artists of the Grosvenor School. Among the highlights are several from Australian artist Ethel Spowers. A rare linocut, The Joke, titled and inscribed by the artist, is believed to be the first to come to auction, and is estimated at £20,000 to £30,000. Depicting a group of people enjoying an anecdote, the 1932 piece exemplifies Spowers' use of strong rhythms, bold colours and simple geometric shapes.

Other Grosvenor School highlights in the sale include Bringing in the Boat (£25,000 - £35,000) and The Gale (£15,000 - £20,000), both by Sybil Andrews, and Fixing the Wires by Lill Tschudi (£15,000 - £20,000).


A series of seven prints by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson is estimated to realise a combined total of £50,000. Among the highlights are two rare lithographic posters - Now Back the Bayonets and Now the Bayonets have won through – both of which are estimated at £8,000 to £12,000. The 75x48cm posters depict a mass of fixed bayonets printed in orange against a bright yellow background. The bold design and superimposition of black cubist letterform text over a field of fiery colour variants is arresting, and exemplifies the 'dazzle' effect – a technique of optical disturbance intended to attract the eye against a hectic metropolitan background.

Nevinson first produced the bayonet poster design for a show of paintings entitled War in March 1918, later adapting it and the accompanying text for a poster issued by the National War Savings Committee to raise money.

Another important Nevinson in the sale is Le Port, a very rare etching executed between 1922 and 1932. The etching, likely to be derived from a similar 1909 composition in oil or its preparatory studies, is believed to be the first impression of this etching to come to auction, and is estimated to realise between £15,000 and £20,000.


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 valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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