AN auction house that has just completed its second full year of trading is trebling the number of sales it will hold in the coming year, including the introduction of several new specialist auctions.

Elstob & Elstob, established in January 2019, has experienced a rising demand for its auction and valuation services and its sales have enjoyed huge success both in terms of prices achieved and number of lots consigned.

Building on these results, the Ripon-based auction house is increasing the number of sales from eight held in 2020 to 23 scheduled for 2021. This includes six ‘Fine Art & Antique’ sales; six ‘Jewellery, Watches and Silver’ sales; four ‘Signed and Designed’ sales; three ‘Fine Wine and Whisky’ sales and four exclusive online sales that will run for a fortnight.

“We have seen phenomenal growth and we are delighted to be in a position of introducing more specialist sales to our auction calendar,” said auction house director David Elstob. “Even this year, with having to make some of our sales exclusively online due to Covid restrictions, the number of lots received has just kept growing, with some sales needing to be extended over two days. We have also witnessed some record prices in 2020 with headline figures across all categories.”

The auction house has already received a big scoop for the first of its new ‘Signed and Designed sales’ in the form of a large collection of Artist’s Proof prints from the family of Chris Prater (1924-1996), co-founder of the world-famous Kelpra Studio.

The 26 prints feature work by a number of leading modern artists such as Joe Tilson, Victor Pasmore, Gordon House, Brian Clarke and Sir Terry Frost and between them represent the amazing breadth and quality of work produced at the renowned London-based studio.

Kelpra Studio was set up by Chris Prater and his wife Rose Kelly in 1957 as a commercial screen-printing operation from a single room in Kentish Town. The couple’s break came two years later when work involving the production of posters for arts organisations brought them into contact with Gordon House, a painter and graphic designer, who made Kelpra's first artist's print.

House enthused so much about Prater's skill that other artists soon followed and in the ensuing decades the studio was to produce brilliantly inventive images for many of Britain’s most famous artists, including Peter Blake, David Hockney and Bridget Riley. The Studio was largely credited for developing a new style of printing that transformed a commercial process into an exciting and innovative artist’s medium.

In the early 1970s, Prater donated 1,500 prints to the Tate, to help found its contemporary print collection. The gallery celebrated the gift with a major exhibition in 1980 showing the enormous vitality of British printmaking, and Prater was awarded an OBE.

Included in the collection to be sold by Elstob & Elstob is an Artist’s Proof from Victor Pasmore (1908-1998) entitled Blue Movement and Green (initialled and dated 1980) that carries a guide price of £1,500. Also featured is an Artist’s Proof by Sir Terry Frost RA (1915-2003) Yellow, Red and Black for Lorca (signed and dated 1987) valued at £900; as well as several silkscreens by John Piper (1903-1992), with estimates ranging from £600 - £1,600.

This specialist sale category will embrace the Decorative Arts from Gothic Revival to the present day and include the Aesthetic and Arts & Crafts Movements, the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods, as well as the Studio Ceramics and Modern Design of the post-war decades. The first of the four ‘Signed and Designed’ sales will take place on Friday 5 March with a deadline for entries of 5 February.

“We are delighted to have such an important collection of prints from the Kelpra Studio to form part of our first ‘Signed and Designed’ sale and such a prestigious consignment certainly bodes well for the year ahead,” said David Elstob.

For further information about the forthcoming sales, as well as the auction and valuation services provided by Elstob & Elstob, please contact 01765 699200 or email: