Christie’s is honoured to be entrusted with the sale of The Collection of Sir Nicholas Goodison – British Art: Innovation and Craftsmanship. The collection – in fact a series of distinct collections – reflects the wide-ranging and varied interests of a great connoisseur whose collecting spanned artists, objects and materials separated by many centuries but united by their aesthetic beauty, innovative design, exceptional craftsmanship, and their contribution to the British cultural landscape. Hugely respected within the world of banking and the arts, Sir Nicholas Goodison (1934-2021) was a businessman, patron of the arts, scholar, philanthropist and polymath. The Chairman of the Stock Exchange (1976-1986), for which he was knighted in 1982, Sir Nicholas Goodison was also Chairman of TSB Group (1988-1995), and deputy chair of Lloyds TSB (1995-2000). He played a vital role in the arts in the United Kingdom and chaired an impressive array of important cultural institutions including the Courtauld (1982-2002), the Art Fund (1986-2002) and the Crafts Council (1997–2005). Passionately interested in the decorative arts, Sir Nicholas was a founding member and long-time President of the Furniture History Society (1990-2020), and published extensively on a variety of subjects, most notably his two books on Barometers (1968, 2nd edition in 1977) and Matthew Boulton (1974, 2nd edition 2002), which are as vital today to connoisseurs, collectors, curators and auctioneers as ever. A hugely supportive patron, Sir Nicholas and Lady Goodison commissioned and gifted several new works of modern craft spanning different mediums, from furniture and ceramics, to glass, metalwork and jewellery to the Fitzwilliam Museum.
The collection spans: Modern British Art & Sculpture including works by Turnbull, Lanyon, Vaughan, Hepworth, Spencer and Frink; Modern & Contemporary Ceramics & Glass; Victorian and British Impressionist Art; English Furniture, Clocks, Watches and Barometers; Sculpture; Silver; and Works of Art by Matthew Boulton.
‘The Légion d’honneur arrived in the post’: the collection of financier, polymath and arts patron Sir Nicholas Goodison