Property from the Estate of the late Ian Fry (Lots 58-74)
Ian Fry, who died in November 2015 aged 91, trained as a carpenter and went on to join the family timber merchants in Borough High Street in Southwark. The firm specialised in supplying the West End theatres including the wood for the famous revolving stage at the London Palladium.
Ian was a collector by nature. He first began to explore 19th century art in the 1980s, but the love of craftsmanship instilled by his early training never left him, whatever form this craftsmanship took. Besides paintings he collected clocks, furniture, silver, netsuke and much else besides: he maintained that his eclectic tastes were reflected in his fine Myles Birket Foster, The Old Curiosity Shop. He had no interest in fashion and bought whatever appealed to his eye and his heart: the Atkinson Grimshaw which he owned, for instance, shows the premises of Ian’s family firm, next to the church of St. George the Martyr in Borough.
Here and at King Street, Christie’s are offering a representative selection of Ian’s collection. It reflects the taste of a man who bought what he loved and forms a very personal portrait of a dedicated collector.
Myles Birket Foster’s The Old Curiosity Shop is one of six important works by the artist from the Fry collection to be included in our forthcoming sale of Victorian, Pre-Raphaelite and British Impressionist Art at Christie’s King Street on 13 July 2016.