Roland Hilder Oil Painting is Top Performer at Mallams’ Modern Living Sale

Roland Hilder Oil Painting is Top Performer at Mallams’ Modern Living Sale


Mallams’ Cheltenham Saleroom hosted the highly anticipated Modern Living Sale on 17 August and achieved a sale value of £74,645.

A wonderfully evocative oil on canvas entitled ‘Old barn and winter trees on the Isle of Grain, North Kent’ (lot 238) was the star lot. Painted and signed by Rowland Hilder (1905-1993), the English landscape artist and book illustrator, it really piqued the interest of bidders and the price sailed well above the £1000-£2000 estimate, with the hammer eventually falling at £4000 to a UK online bidder. This Hilder painting was consigned to Mallams Cheltenham at one of the auctioneer’s regular Tuesday valuation mornings, by a collector who purchased it at a local gallery many years before. 

Other oil paintings that performed well were lot 237 - ‘Fowey Harbour’ signed and dated 1972 by Fred Yates (1922-2008) - which made double top estimate at £2400, and lot 113 – ‘Farm workers on a hillside’, painted by Pierre Adolphe Valette (1876-1942) - which sold for £1500.  This Valette painting had interesting provenance having been featured in a 1991 Christie's South Kensington Sale entitled "Modern British and Continental Paintings, Watercolours, Drawings and Sculpture - Including a collection of works by Adolphe Valette.".

Contemporary furniture always proves popular and lot 76, a ‘Veranda’ black leather, adjustable three seater sofa made for Cassina by the Italian designer and architect, Vico Magistretti (1920-2006) achieved £3000 against a £500-£800 estimate.

Studio pottery enthusiasts were clearly in evidence at the sale, with two pieces by Richard Batterham (1936-2021) being highly contested. Batterham was one of the most revered potters of his time and one of the finest exponents of thrown stoneware pottery. No surprise then that when lot 291, a tall studio pottery vase with an ash glaze, came up for auction, bidders were keen to secure the lot, pushing it above its £1000-£2000 estimate to a final winning bid of £2200 from a private UK bidder. Another Batterham piece, this time a cut-sided vase, with ash and tenmoku glaze (lot 290) also exceeded expectations, going for £1500, almost double top estimate, to another UK collector.

Chloe Wood, the sale specialist said “Almost every lot in the sale came from a private source and was fresh to the market, which was very appealing to collectors. We also had a good mix of items and estimates which attracted a wide range of buyers.”

Mallams is now accepting entries for its next Modern Living Sale taking place in March 2023. If you have any items of interest, please call 01242 235712 or email Mallams' Modern Living specialist, Chloe Wood, at

All prices are subject to a 30% buyers' premium (VAT inclusive). 

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