`PenrhynDdu` sold for £46,000.
Kyffin Williams is widely regarded as one of the defining artists of the 20th century. If one wanted to buy – or indeed sell – a work by him at auction, where would one go: to the Welsh auctioneer who knew him personally or to the auction house outside the Principality where Kyffin Williams is just another name?
David Rogers Jones, of Colwyn Bay, North Wales auction house Rogers Jones & Co, knew the artist personally and has handled his work for more than 45 years. A long-time supporter of charity, particularly the RSPB, Sir Kyffin donated many paintings to auctions which David conducted to raise money for worthy causes. Indeed, when Kyffin Williams died in September 2006, his family called in David to conduct the probate valuation of his estate.
Welsh-speaking David launched the saleroom’s biannual Welsh Sale 10 years ago and works by Sir Kyffin – prints, watercolours and oils – have been a foundation around which the auction have been built and a mainstay of their success. As a result, the saleroom has a database of collectors who either own Sir Kyffin Williams pictures or else hope to do so. David’s son, Ben, has become highly knowledgeable; even having made the pilgrimage to Patagonia to meet some of the inhabitants whom Sir Kyffin lived with and painted during the time he spent there in 1968-9.
With his local knowledge of both the artist and the locations where he painted around his Anglesey home, David Rogers Jones is also adept at identifying the people and places depicted in a picture that were previously unknown. His ability to see one of Sir Kyffin’s unmistakeable landscapes and name the farm or farmer shown is uncanny, while his years of experience has given David the knowledge of Sir Kyffin’s techniques in order to authenticate pictures whose provenance is questionable.
Sir John "Kyffin" Williams, KBE, RA was born in Llangefni, Anglesey into an old Anglesey family, and was educated at Moreton Hall and Shrewsbury Schools before joining the 6th Battalion the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1937. However, he failed his medical examination because of his epilepsy, his doctor advising him to take up art for the sake of his health.
He subsequently studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and taught art at Highgate School, London, where he was senior art master from 1944 until 1973. In 1968, he won a Winston Churchill Fellowship scholarship to study and paint in Y Wladfa, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia.
He was awarded the OBE for his services to the arts in 1982 and made a KBE in 1999. In 1995, Sir Kyffin received the Glyndŵr Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Arts in Wales during the Machynlleth Festival. He was appointed a member of the Royal Academy in 1974 and was President of the Royal Cambrian Academy. He lived at Pwllfanogl, Llanairpwll, Anglesey. His works are on permanent exhibition in Oriel Ynys Môn, Anglesey, and the Kyffin Williams Drawing Prize is awarded annually.
Some of the most valuable works by Sir Kyffin, sold at Rogers Jones Co in recent sales can be see by using the search above.