after watching the movie buy art
Four Louis Wain postcards – estimate £ 30-40 at Lockdales January 21-23.
Famous for his humorous anthropomorphic paintings of cats, he typically produces several hundred drawings per year.
These feline representations have their roots in an emotionally intense time when his wife was dying of cancer. To comfort her, he brought home a stray kitten they named Peter – the subject of his first drawings of cats.
Although the artist’s work became extremely popular during the Victorian era and early 20e century, he was increasingly troubled by his sanity. He found himself in poverty and in the service of the poor of a hospital. But after a campaign to help him, he was transferred to Bethlem Hospital in London.
As with his cat creations, the film divided critics among critics. But Wain certainly has many fans among collectors, and his work regularly appears at auction (including the remarkable Cubist-style ceramic cats he has also produced).
Wain designed a set of nine cats, a pig and a dog which were presented at an exhibition in 1914. The collection, first put together by the Max Emmanuel factory, then by Amphora, was only sold ‘in small numbers.
A great example of one of Wain’s pottery felines featured in Webb’s Decorative Arts Sale in Auckland, New Zealand on March 15, 2020. The cat was found in 1986 at a garage sale by the seller when it cost only NZ $ 1.
At 11 x 9½ inches (28 x 24 cm), this seated cat was one of the larger examples, glossy green with details in yellow and red. He had a range of printed marks and is also impressed Futuristic cat and Louis Wain.
The coin generated considerable overseas pre-sale interest, but sold to a local collector at double the estimate for NZ $ 9,250 (£ 4,510).
In June 2008, The Canterbury Auction Galleries achieved a record price for a Louis Wain ceramic when another version of this large model in blue with factory marks Amphora sold for £ 8,200.
But many items sell below that.
A Paragon China children’s mug, from a collection series, titled A morning garnish, sold for £ 100 at Bolton Auction Rooms on December 7, 2020.
Currently, a number of examples are on offer at upcoming auctions, including four postcards (top photo) featuring designs by Wain at the Lockdales auction in Ipswich on January 21-23, estimated at £ 30-40.
A copy of Wain Catland Stories from the “Furry Mascot” series of Father Tuck edited by Capt Edric Vredenburg and published by Raphael Tuck (circa 1915) will be offered at the Stroud auction in Gloucestershire on January 12th and 13th.
With an inscription dated 1916, it is offered accompanied by a copy of MAC by Cecil Aldin, published by Henry Frowde and Hodder & Stoughton (c.1915).