Tam o’Shanter paintings go up for auction

Tom Hutchison Peddie's painting of Tam o'Shanter
Tom Hutchison Peddie's painting of Tam o'Shanter
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Five paintings bringing the haunting tale of one of Robert Burns’ most famous poems to life go on sale in Glasgow next month.

The artworks - which have gone on show as Burns scholars across the world prepare to celebrate the poet’s birthday next week – depict scenes from Tam o’ Shanter, a tale about a drunken Ayr farmer and his horse Meg, who loses her tail as they are chased by witches and warlocks.

Tom Hutchison Peddie's painting of Tam o'Shanter

Tom Hutchison Peddie's painting of Tam o'Shanter

The paintings feature at McTear’s in February. The works, by Tom Hutchison Peddie and Joseph Denham Shearer, are expected to together fetch more than £5,000.

Tom Hutchison Peddie was a muralist, illustrator and cartoonist who moved to London in the 1890’s and began producing work for well-known magazines the Strand, Punch and Quiver.

His massive Tam o’ Shanter painting, which is estimated to sell for £1500 to £2500, was painted in 1939 and shows Tam on Meg trying to get away from a witch with flowing blonde hair. The artwork was on display in The Gloucester Hotel in Aberdeen for many years.

The remaining four pictures are valued at £500 to £1000 each and were completed before 1968 by Disney and Hanna Barbera animator Joseph Shearer. Several YouTube renditions of Tam o’ Shanter feature these illustrations.

Originally from Ayr, Shearer worked on some of Disney’s blockbuster cartoons before becoming head illustrator for Hanna Barbera, involved with Scooby Doo and the Flintstones.

Brian Clements, Managing Director at McTear’s Auctioneers, said: “Robert Burns remains as popular today as he’s ever been and anything related to him and his work creates a buzz when up for auction. Showing various scenes from Tam o’ Shanter all the paintings reflect a love and deep knowledge for the poem and its characters. They aren’t easy pictures to value, as nothing like them has been offered at auction before.”

All five paintings will feature in The Scottish Pictures Auction at McTear’s in Glasgow on Sunday, 14th February.