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    Monday, March 7th, 2011

    Henry Moore Rocking Chair No. 3 estimate £800,000-1,200,000 (click on image to enlarge)

    Sotheby’s today announced the sale of the greatest collection of 20th-Century British Art ever to come to the market.  The Evill/Frost Collection comprises the largest group of paintings by Stanley Spencer ever on the market, in addition to works by Lucian Freud, Henry Moore, Dame Barbara Hepworth, Graham Sutherland, Edward Burra and Patrick Heron, amongst many others.

    The collection, estimated to fetch in excess of £12 million, will be offered at a three part sale starting on Wednesday, June 15 and continuing over two sessions the following day. It will be sold by the executors of the Honor Frost estate in order to benefit charitable causes relating to marine archeology.
    The paintings and sculptures, collected by Wilfrid Evill between 1925 and 1960 represent a window into a past world.  A London solicitor his choices when he held a ten-year tenure as a buyer for the Contemporary Arts Society ensured the acquisition of masterpieces for museums and galleries throughout Britain. His own collection demonstrates an unparalleled vision of the achievements and talent of some of the most accomplished British artists in the period just before and after World War II.
    When he died in 1963 he bequeathed his estate to his long-time ward Honor Frost.  She shared his love of the arts and studied at the Central School of Art in London, and the Ruskin School of Art in Oxford.  She went on to work as a designer for the Ballet Rambert and then became director of publications at the Tate Gallery, before becoming a marine archaeologist, for which she is renowned.
    The sale offers paintings, drawings, watercolours and sculptures.  Evill had access to a younger generation of artists working in the post-war period. These included the young Lucian Freud, John Craxton and Patrick Heron. The sale will also include a selection of furniture and ceramics, a highlight of which is a Sèvres tea service contained within a kingwood parquetry carrying box (est. £10,000-15,000), formerly in the collection of the great actor, director and theatre manager David Garrick (1717-79).