'Allies' - Churchill and Roosevelt - set benchmark at Bonhams sale of 20th Century British and Irish art in London this week

A copy of the well-loved bronze sculpture titled 'Allies' of Sir Winston Churchill and Roosevelt on their bench sited between Old and New Bond Streets sold at Bonhams for £409,250, double its estimate, to an American buyer yesterday 14th November 2012.

This makes the sculpture the top Modern British work of art to sell in London this week.

The Bonhams sale of 20th Century British and Irish Art featured 123 lots and achieved a total of £3.2m. Among other top lots was a Peter Doig painting Road House which sold for £265,250; a Walter Sickert, Woman in Profile with downcast eyes for £229,250; a Graham Sutherland, Head on a Balcony for £217,250; and Sir Alfred Munnings, The haymakers went for £109,250.

'Allies' sculpture by Lawrence Holofcener (born 1926) was unveiled in 1995 by H.R.H. The Princess Margaret. Now a major London landmark, it was gifted to the City of Westminster by the Bond Street Association to commemorate fifty years of peace. It embodies the 'special relationship' between Britain and the USA.

'Allies' depicts Sir Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt in relaxed conversation and is a fitting tribute to the celebrated politicians who together implemented the Atlantic Charter. The Charter was first issued in August 1941 and set goals for peace in the post-war world including freedom from fear and want and the abandonment of the use of force. Churchill and Roosevelt's bond secured a strong transatlantic partnership that enhanced international security and helps to explain the 'special relationship' that is frequently discussed today. In keeping with their principles, 'Allies' is an approachable sculpture with the space in between the two leaders open for the viewer to occupy.

Lawrence Holofcener was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and has exhibited across the U.S.A. as well as in the U.K. The artist's sculpture frequently depicts famous individuals and in 1985 Laurence Olivier unveiled Holofcener's portrait, Faces of Olivier, at the Chichester Festival Theater.


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

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