The Welsh Sale
Sat 20 October 2018, 10:30 AM - Cardiff Saleroom, South Wales
Intro to this Welsh Sale:
Special London Viewing: Sunday 7th October 2-7pm at The London Welsh Centre, 157 Grays Inn Road, WC1X 8UE
Cardiff Viewing: Friday 19th October 12pm - 7pm & the morning of auction 9am - 10.15am
One hundred years ago John Kyffin Williams was born and appropriately his Centenary has been marked by the National Library of Wales with a superb exhibition of his work. While we as a company were privileged to have been the sponsors of the Annual Kyffin Williams Student Prize for 2018. It is also 50 years to the day of this October 2018 Welsh Sale that Kyffin landed in Patagonia. It was the start of his adventure of a life-time, to document the Welsh-speaking community, 12,000 miles away.
The Mimosa ship sailed to Patagonia in 1865 with the first Welsh emigrants. I should imagine that Kyffin felt a similar excitement and trepidation as the passengers then, as he took the same seaward journey in 1968. The trip proved to be a seminal trip for the artist from which he produced an outstanding body of work.
I can understand Kyffin’s fascination with the struggle of the migrants to establish a colony in Patagonia. I took off to Gaiman, Patagonia in 2009. Of course, by then it was a well-trodden Welsh tourist path and to my dismay I knew two people who had already signed the guest book at the Gaiman guesthouse I stayed at! While a short walk down the road tourists could buy Princess Diana tea-towels at an ‘authentic Welsh tea-room’! It seemed even Princess Diana had beaten me to it! But of course, Kyffin’s trip was quite different; he was travelling to a sketchily documented Patagonia - by sea, alone, with few comforts and with his epilepsy never too far away. He was certainly adventurous and certainly brave.
There have been many books written and programmes made documenting Kyffin’s life and work. He is the most discussed and well-known of Welsh artists. But for me, his paintings reveal as much about the man than anything written. In this Welsh Sale auction there are six oils by the artist and twelve works on paper. All of the oil paintings this time are landscapes and each of them represent both the personality of the landscape and the personality of the artist. The most brooding example being Lot 407 which is perhaps a representation of the darkest period of his life when his suffering was at his most acute. While Lot 356, is a scene high up in the peaks of Snowdonia in snow, demonstrating Kyffin’s go-getting attitude to his work, his bravery and his sense of adventure.
The word ‘ambitious’ is perhaps not associated enough with Sir Kyffin Williams. For me there is ambition in most of his oil paintings. His ambition was certainly demonstrated in his adventure to Patagonia but also every time he took off in ominous Welsh weather to capture the rugged Welsh environment.
When offering Kyffin’s work to market we hope to match Kyffin’s ambition. We want to continue to be the ‘go to’ for Welsh art, for auctioning Kyffins, Nantgarw porcelain and premium Welsh art. We also want to, wherever and whenever we can, continue promoting Welsh art to the masses.
So with this in mind, this October we are off to London and the whole Welsh Sale is coming with us! Call it our Patagonia adventure if you will. On Sunday October 7th this Welsh Sale will be available to view at The London Welsh Centre in Clerkenwell. Don’t worry, the auction will (and always will) take place in Wales, but we hope that the viewing will help us expose Welsh art even further and enhance further the reputation of Wales as a country of high importance in the art-world.
We hope that you enjoy looking through this catalogue and we hope to see you in London or Cardiff. Every Welsh Sale it is a privilege for us to catalogue and research such a tremendous variety of Welsh art and antiques. It continues to be a lovely experience, travelling the breadth of the country, drinking a ‘panad’ with interesting and welcoming collectors and admiring their fantastic collections. We hope you enjoy it with us.
Ben Rogers Jones
Auctioneer & Partner
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