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Important collection of works by a renowned Cornish artist

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: October 20, 2012

Auctioneer David Lay with Wheal Music by Tony Giles

Auctioneer David Lay with Wheal Music by Tony Giles

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LAYS auctions, PENZANCE

A rich collection of Cornish art – including several canvases by Tony Giles – is to go under the hammer in Penzance on November 1.

Auctioneer David Lay will be selling 20 pictures that belonged to John Davies, a Surrey dentist who retired to St Agnes. The most valuable part of the collection is a series of paintings by renowned Cornish artist Tony Giles, who also lived in St Agnes. The collection is expected to fetch in the region of £15,000.

David Lay sad he believed the collection to be an important representation of Cornish art. "John has collected a valuable variety of Cornish art through the last three centuries," he said. "Tony Giles is viewed as a powerful painter, but his work is also considered under-rated, so our forthcoming sale gives an excellent opportunity to see the work at first hand. His work was especially dear to John, so it will be good to see it passing into another art lover's care."

While Mr Davies began collecting art in Surrey, his tastes changed noticeably when he moved to Cornwall in 1990. Where Victorian decorative watercolours depicting farmyard scenes had filled his walls, his move to St Agnes saw a shift in preference to art inspired by his new home.

Through exhibitions and auctions, he developed an interest in 19th and 20th-century Cornish artists such as John Park, Stanhope and Elizabeth Forbes and Garstin Cox. Being good friends with Tony Giles, his enthusiasm grew for more contemporary artists working in Cornwall, such as Jack Pender, Rose Hilton, Daphne McClure and Jeremy le Grice.

The collection can be viewed next Saturday, October 27, and on Wednesday, October 31. The sale will start at 10am on Thursday, November 1, at the Penzance Auction House and includes a further 500 lots.

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