Property from the Estate of the Late Ian Fry (Lots 122, 126, 137, 148-151, 154, 161-166) Ian Fry, who died in November 2015 aged ninety-one, trained as a carpenter and went on to join the family timber merchants in Borough High Street in Southwark. The firm specialized 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 (see lot 165), one of six important works by the artist in this sale from the collection of the late Ian Fry. 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 (see lot 137). Here, and at Christie’s South Kensington, we 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.
John William Godward, R.A. (1861-1922)
An Offering to Venus
signed and dated 'J.W. GODWARD.1912.' (lower left) and further signed, inscribed and dated 'An Offering to Venus, J.W. Godward Rome. 1912' (on the reverse, according to previous cataloguing)
oil on canvas
30 ¾ x 15 ½ in. (78 x 39.4 cm.)
Acquired from the artist by Messrs. Eugène Cremetti, London, 5 May 1912.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, New Delhi, 8 October 1992, lot 40.
with Richard Green, London, until June 1993.