A watercolour by one of the founding members of the Bristol Savages, Arthur Wilde Parsons (1854-1931), sold at the Clevedon Saleroom’s Specialist Sale on 7 June for what appears to be an auction record price for a watercolour by the artist at £4,700.
The scene, depicting a regatta of tall-masted ships heralding Queen Elizabeth I’s visit to Bristol in 1574, was dated 1917 and was a preparatory study for a large oil presented to Bristol Art Gallery.Consigned via a local private vendor, the lot attracted considerable interest with several bids left on commission before a bidding battle ensued, taking the lot from the hundreds of pounds into the thousands.
Arthur Wilde Parsons was the son of a Bristol doctor. In 1908 he was a founder member of the Bristol Savages, a Society for the promotion of the fine arts, music, performing arts and poetry. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Royal Institute, and is represented in Bristol City Art Gallery.