WHAT are the most expensive pieces of art sold at Scottish auctions in 2015 so far?
The work of painter Jack Vettriano has dominated a list of the most valuable items sold in Scottish auction houses so far this year.
The sale of a private collection of Vettriano works has insured that five paintings by the artist are amongst the highest value pieces sold north of the border in 2015.
However, the top sale price recorded by a Scottish auction house was £386,500, for the formidable bronze 18th Century Italian sculpture Ganymede and the Eagle by Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi.
It was sold by Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh in April.
The next most valuable works were Vettriano’s Waltzers, which sold at Bonhams in Edinburgh for £241,747 and his Road To Nowhere , which sold for £223,597.
Scottish colourists and Jack Vettriano are the biggest grossing Scottish artists sold at auctionEmily Walsh, The Fine Art Society
Three of his smaller pieces also feature in the top 10.
The sale of a Chinese four-mark porcelain vase which was valued at around £30 but sold for a reported £200,000 at Taylor’s in Montrose in February has also been included.
However, it is not clear if the sale concluded at this price. Jonathan Taylor, salesroom manager of the north-east auction house, declined to comment.
Auction houses have recently tightened up policies with regards to overseas buyers, many who bid for items over the internet.
If the Chinese vase was removed from the top 10 auction sales, John Peploe’s Aspidistra, painted around 1927, would have would have appeared on the list.
It sold for £86,500 at a Bonhams sale earlier this year.
Also in the top price bracket were two works by Scottish colourist Francis Cadell with The Blue Jug, painted around 1922, sold by Bonhams for £194,500.
The Edinburgh painter’s Venice, also went under the hammer at the auction house for £158,500.
The list only includes items sold at auction in Scotland, with many objects now being dispatched to London for inclusion in specialist sales.
Such items include an Egyptian bronze and gilt wood ibis, from 664-30BC, that belonged to the late American art critic and collector Beverly Whitney Kean, who spent part of her time at Cullen House in Banffshire.
It sold at a Bonhams in London for £134,500.
Emily Walsh, managing director of The Fine Art Society in Edinburgh said art works sold by private galleries should also be considered, although the prices achieved usually remained private due to client confidentiality.
She added: “The results are also skewed in favour of Jack Vettriano on account of the single owner sale coming on the market. Without this sale the results might be more varied.
“However, it will likely remain that Scottish colourists and Jack Vettriano are the biggest grossing Scottish artists sold at auction.”
Ms Walsh said that the sale of the Italian Soldani-Benzi sculpture and the price fetched for sculptor Anish Kapoor’s Red Disc - also sold by Lyon and Turnbull, were indicative of the “web’s reach” in today’s auctions.