The incredible Cornish art collection sells for £ 1million at Cornwall’s biggest art sale


The personal collection of one of Cornwall’s foremost art dealers has sold for over £ 1million.

Over the decades Jonathan Grimble has amassed a fine collection of around 300 paintings, drawings and sculptures from modern British schools, Cornwall and St Ives in his home overlooking Mount St Michael.

The private collection was auctioned off in situ at Mr. Grimble’s house in Marazion and the sale exceeded auction house David Lay Auctions‘ wildest expectations.

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Ahead of the sale, Mimi Connell-Lay, publicity manager and researcher at the family auction house, said the Grimble collection could fetch more than £ 485,000 with the highest price in the sale for an oil from 1957 by Terry Frost, ‘Blue and Black Verticals are estimated between £ 50,000 and £ 80,000.

Mimi has now confirmed the sale went even better than that with paintings and sculptures sold for a total of £ 1million.



Art dealer Jonathan Grimble whose private collection sold for £ 1million at auction in Marazion with Sir Terry Frost

She said: “Earlier this month David Lay Auctions had a really amazing sale. It was probably the finest collection of modern art sold in the Westcountry in recent years.

“Grimble moved to Cornwall in 2000, opened the Market House Gallery in Marazion and was well known as a collector and gallery owner on the Cornish art scene.

“The sale took place in his elegant seaside house in Marazion. It was a complicated logistical exercise for us, as in addition to moving the technology needed for a large online auction, the location had to be kept secret for security reasons and customers who viewed and attended the auction had to be transferred to the private location. .

“It was certainly one of the most prestigious auctions in our 45-year history.”

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Auctioneer David Lay started the auction by selling a small work by Alexander MacKenzie ‘Boskenna’ which carried an estimate of £ 2,000-4,000 but sold for £ 6,000. Other early highlights were Lot 10, ‘Handle Bird’, a bronze by Breon O’Casey sold for £ 24,000 and Lot 19, ‘No. Five Indigo’ by Sandra Blow for £ 13,000. The highest price of the sale went to lot 25, Blue and Black Verticals by Sir Terry Frost, which sold for £ 68,000.



Private collection of art dealer Jonathan grimble auctioned for £ 1million in Marazion
Private collection of art dealer Jonathan grimble auctioned for £ 1million in Marazion

A well-known figure in the Cornish art world, Jonathan Grimble collects with astute judgment and taste. His large art collection has been expertly curated into a 300-lot sale that includes many important antique paintings and bronzes from some of the pioneers of the British abstract movement of the 1950s and the St Ives art scene.

Mimi added: ‘Including commissions the sale has brought in over £ 1million which is great news for the future of the art market in Cornwall. Contemporary Cornish art is a very important player in today’s global art market and Lay’s Auctioneers have really promoted its importance. It’s great to see the future of Cornish art so bright in these uncertain times.

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