The Nobile Index is a series of monographic publications of art sales prices achieved at auction, for a selection of leading 20th-century British artists. They involve the collaboration of a commercial art dealership, Piano Nobile Works of Art and the University of Bristol's History of Art Department; bringing together academic and commercial expertise on the artists for the benefit of those with an interest in their work. They are funded by the generosity of a private benefactor.
The studies are confined to analyses of auction art sales results from 1990 to the time of the study. Although largely from UK sales, data supplied by international salerooms are also included. Graphs and interpretations of these figures are analysed and significant trends and buying patterns revealed.
It is envisaged that this data will be of growing value to private and corporate clients, museums and fine art funds. Accurate commercial appraisal has always played an important role in the consideration of new acquisitions throughout the history of art. No more so than today is this seen with the fluctuating, but ever more significant rise in value commanded by the best of many 20th-century artists' work.
This publication of the Nobile Index Series, written by Sophie Hatchwell, academic at Bristol University, focuses on the sales history of Sir Stanley Spencer from 1990-2015. Stanley Spencer, arguably one of the greatest British artists of the twentieth-century, is also renowned for his chequered sales history and money struggles. This rigorous study into the prices his work now commands at auctions demonstrates the significance of major sales over the past twenty-five years and the increasing value the market place supon Spencer's paintings. Evaluating general market trends, genres and media amongst other factors, Sophie Hatchwell's investigation provides an invaluable source of information on Stanley Spencer as an artist and the legacy and future of his work within the art market. The publication comes in two sections - an introduction by renowned Spencer specialist Professor Paul Gough, results and analysis, and a booklet insert of appendices.