Sale 21PT03 | Lot 12

Augustus Edwin John O.M., R.A.

Catalogue: Impressionist & Modern Art
Augustus Edwin John O.M., R.A.

Lot Details

Lot 12
Augustus Edwin John O.M., R.A.
British, 1878-1961
Sketches of Helen Balfe, 1924
Signed and inscribed Augustus / John / to Helen (ll, lr); also dated 1924 (lr) and further inscribed Was this the face that launched ten thousand ships? (cl)
Pencil on paper laid down on card
12 1/2 x 11 3/4 inches (31.7 x 29.8 cm)

Helen Meany Balfe (1904-1991)
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Cooper, Brentwood residence
Thence by descent to the current owner

Augustus John was at the height of his fame when, following his second visit to the U.S. in April - June 1924, the year he won first prize at the Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh for his magnificent portrait of the Portuguese cellist Madame Suggia (Tate Britain), he was invited by W. B. Yeats and his friend the Irish senator, Oliver St. John Gogarty, to attend a cultural programme of events as part of the Tailteann Games in Dublin, a revival of the ancient games which had been planned to follow the Paris Olympics (May - July). This enabled Olympic athletes to participate in Dublin, and given that American athletes were included, it is possible that the Olympic diving champion Helen Balfe took part after competing in Paris. Whether Augustus met Helen Balfe in Dublin or the following month while he was in Paris, we will never know, but they evidently hit it off. Augustus has caught her bare shouldered, from two different angles, and in his inscription made play with her name.

We are grateful to Rebecca John for her assistance in cataloging this work.

C Property Sold to Benefit the Gary Cooper Endowed Fund for Student Support of Indigenous Cultures at USC

Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $1,890 (includes buyer's premium)

Additional Notes & Condition Report

Paper is toned. Staining at lower right. Several scattered faint brown spots in the bottom third, mostly a cluster at lower center. Taped to mat at top verso edge.

Frame: 19 1/8 x 18 inches

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Estimate: $3,000 - $5,000
Sold for $1,890 (includes buyer's premium)

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Catalogue Info

Impressionist & Modern Art

Wed, May 12, 2021 at 11am EDT
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