What a Year for Ewbanks

Ewbank’s Surrey’s leading auction house, held many unusual and one-off sales throughout 2017, from epic single-owner collections of a particular type of collectable, to an entire house lled with intriguing curios and antiques.

One of the first of the special sales of the year, followed an instruction from the family of well-known local potter and artist, Mary Wondrausch, who passed away in 2016, to sell most of the contents of her studio and home, in Compton, near Guildford.

Almost 500 lots went under the hammer, with a total sale price of just under £70,000. Her signature slipware-decorated ceramics as well as her paintings, made up the majority of the items for sale. The two slipware decorated plaques shown here sold for £356.

Ewbank’s also host many sales for charities and in 2017 staged two for The Hepatitis C Trust: ‘Art On A Ukulele’, which saw 28 hand- decorated ukuleles on sale, and ‘Art On A Postcard’, a secret auction in which buyers do not know who painted the postcard-sized work. The total for both auctions was £84,000, and, as with all charity auctions, Ewbank’s charged no vendor commission. The top price was for the ukulele shown here, painted by famed album cover artist George Underwood (b.1947), who decorated a Kala concert ukulele using oils, entitled ‘You Can Ukulele Tattoo’. It sold for £6,096.

Underwood was a lifelong friend of David Bowie and reportedly responsible for Bowie’s distinctive differently coloured eye following a fight while they were at school together! His album artwork included David Bowie’s Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust album covers, which established him as a leading creative artist/illustrator.