Irish art up for sale as Salvage Hunters’ Drew Pritchard brings private collection to auction

Irish art up for sale as Salvage Hunters’ Drew Pritchard brings private collection to auction

SALVAGE HUNTERS star Drew Pritchard is putting a selection of antiques from his own private collection up for auction next week.

The sale at Dreweatts on March 5 and 6, marks the first thirty years of the antiques experts' career.

It includes items he collected over those three decades, and “everything has been chosen for its quality, individuality, and rarity,” a Dreweatts spokesperson confirmed.

Among the lots are two paintings by the esteemed Irish artist William John Leech.

William Leech’s Building the New Bridge with Cows in a Field (Lot 571)

Known for his landscape works, with colourful coastal and harbour scenes, as well as interiors, still life and portraits, Leech established a unique style in his work, whcih continued until his death in 1968 at the age of 87.

Dublin-born Leech went to school at St Columba's College in Rathfarnham.

He later studied at the Dublin Metropolitan School before transferred to the Royal Hibernian Academy where he was under the tutelage of the Irish impressionist and Post-Impressionist landscape and portrait painter Walter Frederick Osborne.

Following his studies, Leech made his way to France in 1903.

His passion for landscape painting became prevalent and later in life he travelled across Europe in order to capture the differing surroundings, textures and colours.

Post-travelling he settled in England, where he lived at Candy Cottage, West Clandon in Surrey.

“The two oil paintings in the sale show Leech’s love of the landscape genre and both juxtapose the industrial progress of England, with the peace and tranquillity of the countryside,” a Dreweatts spokesperson said.

William Leech's Building the New Bridge (Lot 572)

Leech’s Building the New Bridge with Cows in a Field (lot 571) and Building the New Bridge (lot 572) each carry an estimate of £800-£1,200.

Leech’s works are among many unusual slices of history to be found in Pritchard’s unique collection.

Through his work on the television show Salvage Hunters, he is well-known for his keen eye and ability to identify valuable pieces that may not be in perfect state, but have the potential to be brought back to life with good restoration.

Drew Pritchard is selling items from the first thirty years of his antiques collecting

Speaking about the sale, Pritchard said: “2023 marked my 30th year in the antiques trade and this collection is a vignette of that work.

“Anyone who deals in antiques knows it’s all consuming.

“This collection is part of that 30 years of obsessively collecting and dealing. I look forward to and am excited by the possibilities of the next 30 years”.

The Drew Pritchard: The Collection sale will take place at Dreweatts on March 5 and 6, 2024.

It is estimated to fetch over £700,000 over 500 lots, which range in estimate from £200 up to £30,000.