Published on Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
A former collection of Wilfred Evill, made up of 117 paintings and sculptures, sold for a staggering £41 million at Sotheby’s last week, doubling the previous record for a 20th-century British art sale, held at Christie’s two weeks before.
Every item was sold as collectors snapped up works rarely, if ever, seen in public since an exhibition after Evill’s death in 1963. Evill was somewhat of a mysterious character as little is known about him, yet it is acknowledged that he was a lawyer who represented Stanley Spencer and Lucian Freud. He also had a rich appetite for art and amassed a remarkable collection of British contemporary art in his lifetime.
Advertised as “the greatest collection of 20th-century British art ever to come to the market”, it undoubtedly lived up to the hype as it was truly a sale of the century.