County Council art collection auction raises over £400,000

Published: 22 Mar 2019

Over 150 artworks owned by Hertfordshire County Council were offered for sale to the public at Cheffins Fine Art Auctioneers yesterday (21 March) generating a total of £445,360.


The majority of Hertfordshire County Council’s art collection, which has been mainly held in storage, has been gifted to local organisations for display. The Council has also retained 167 works from their collection.

The county council began to acquire the paintings in 1949 as part of the School Loan Collection, a post-war initiative which involved obtaining artworks for schools to borrow from the council, thereby exposing students to contemporary art. However, the service became less relevant to the evolving curriculum and it was suspended in 2012 and permanently discontinued in 2017.

To date, over 100 works have already been accepted as gifts by Hertfordshire organisations. These include works by Michael Brennard-Wood, Maurice Field, Launce Gribbin, Robin Mackertich, Leo McDowell, John Mills, Brynhild Parker and Marie Whitby. A further 1,000 works will be offered later this year.

Councillor Terry Douris, Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Libraries and Localism, said: “Clearly we are delighted with the amount raised from the sale, we have not made any plans for the funding beyond what we have already committed to, improving the condition and public visibility of the nationally significant sculptures we hold and investing in the retained collection to improve its accessibility.”


Cheffins will offer another 300 works from the Hertfordshire County Council Collection in the firm’s Interiors Sales on the 25th April and 23rd May. The auctions will be held at Cheffins, Clifton House, 1-2 Clifton Road, Cambridge CB1 7EA. For more information on the sale and viewing times visit