Magnificent Tapestries Lead Bonhams Prints And Multiples Sale In London

Prints and Multiples
26 Jun 2018
London, New Bond Street

Tapestries by leading contemporary artists Beatriz Milhazes, Peter Blake, Grayson Perry, Gavin Turk and Gary Hume feature in the Bonhams Prints & Multiples sale on Tuesday 26 June in London. Beatriz Milhazes' magnificent tapestry Carioca, 2008 - depicting a flower in full bloom - leads this group of tapestries with an estimate of £35,000-55,000 (illustrated above).

Writing in Bonhams Magazine, Timothy Wilcox, curator and co-author of 'Tapestry: A Woven Narrative' said 'The recent reawakening of interest in tapestry goes beyond irony: you only have to see the headline billing given to the vast new tapestry in Beatriz Milhazes current London show to know that for colour, scale and wall power, tapestry has not only a fascinating past, but an ever-expanding future.'

Tapestries, in the Middle Ages, were a symbol of status; often paraded through the streets to mark religious holidays, or hung in stately homes as an expression of luxury. Typically, they depict classical myths, historical events, religious scenes and heroic battles. But today artists are using the medium to address global issues such as the environment, race, gender and international conflicts.

Grayson Perry is a pioneer in this reinvention and his work, Vote Alan Measles for God, 2008, offered at Bonhams with an estimate of £30,000-50,000, is a striking example. Perry's work depicts global terrorist threats - including the twin towers and Osama Bin Laden and has been called 'a Bayeux tapestry for modern times'.

Head of Prints and Multiples, Lucia Tro Santafe, said 'These tapestries are a far cry from the gloomy corners of country-house bedrooms and museum corridors that first spring to mind. These contemporary artists have taken a medium that already has a complex and well-documented past and have given it a radical makeover.'

The other tapestries are: Gavin Turk, Mappa del Mondo, 2008, estimated at £12,000-18,000; Gary Hume, Georgie and Orchids, 2008, and Sir Peter Blake, Alphabet, 2008, each estimated at £10,000-15,000.

Other highlights in the sale include a collection of Artist's Illustrated Books which feature collaborations between some of the most celebrated artists and writers of the twentieth century. Of particular interest are,
- Pablo Picasso, La Tauromaquia, 1959. The complete set of 26 sugar-lift aquatints, estimated at £25,000-35,000
- George Braque, Si je mourais là-bas, 1962. The complete set of 18 colour woodcuts, estimated at £35,000-55,000.
- Marc Chagall, The Story of the Exodus, 1966. The complete set of 24 lithographs in colours, estimated at £15,000-20,000

Together with a selection of American prints, notably:
- Ed Ruscha, 1984, 1984. Lithograph, estimated at £15,000-25,000 (illustrated below)
- Robert Longo, Men in Cities, 1990. The complete set of 5 lithographs, estimated at £22,000-32,000
- Sam Francis, The White Line, 1960. Lithograph in colours, estimated at £15,000-20,000


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewellery. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit

  1. Lucia Tro Santafe
    101 New Bond Street
    London, United Kingdom W1S 1SR
    Work +44 20 7468 8262

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