Record breaking Australian artist set to strike big again at Bonhams

27 Nov 2012
London, New Bond Street

Ethel Spowers' 20th Century modernist print 'Gust Of Wind' is on sale this November

Ethel Spowers' 'Gust of Wind' (1930-1931) is one of the top lots at Bonhams' Prints sale at New Bond Street on 27th November (estimate £40,000-60,000).

Ethel Spowers (1890-1947) was a dynamic artist, who, in April this year smashed the record for the most expensive Grosvenor print ever sold at auction for £122,760. 'Gust of Wind' is an important piece depicting a sensitivity of movement and it marks a stylistic turning point in her work.

Spowers was born in Melbourne and studied not only in Australia, but Paris and London as well. Although she initially found acclaim as an illustrator of fairy tales, she used linocut prints to express a wider variety of artistic interest. In the 1930s, these prints began to draw interest due to their simplified forms and rhythmic movement exemplified in 'Gust of Wind'.

Although she unfortunately destroyed many of her works in a bonfire, existing pieces are in the British Museum and the collection of many other institutions. Ahead of the growing interest in Australian art this season, Spowers' print is set to elicit interest from the wider market.


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

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