Sotheby’s brings back Scottish art auction

David Eustace's 'Four Steel Workers'
David Eustace's 'Four Steel Workers'
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FOR more than four decades it was a fixture at the luxury Gleneagles resort, attracting global interest in Scottish paintings and artists.

Now auctioneer Sotheby’s is predicting sales of more than £3 million will be generated when it relaunches its dedicated Scottish sale next month – five years after shelving the event.

Alison Watt's 'Pears'

Alison Watt's 'Pears'

Work by Scottish Colourist artists Francis Cadell, Samuel Peploe, John Fergusson and George Leslie Hunter will all go under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London on 18 November, some for the first time.

Several works by two of Scotland’s leading 20th century female painters, Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath, are in the sale, which will be held after the National Galleries of Scotland launches its first major exhibition dedicated to women artists.

Buyers will also be able to snap up work by some of Scotland’s leading contemporary artists, including Jack Vettriano, Ken Currie, Peter Howson and Alison Watt, as well as photographer David Eustace.

It is predicted that some individual works will fetch more than £500,000 in the auction.

Peploe's 'Still Life with Coffee Pot'

Peploe's 'Still Life with Coffee Pot'

Jane Oakley, Scottish art specialist at Sotheby’s, said: “There is now undoubtedly an appetite for the return of a dedicated auction of Scottish art in London. The sale will showcase a broad range of artists, from the late 19th century right up to the contemporary.”

Grant Ford, senior director of British and Irish art at Sotheby’s, added: “It just felt like the right time to bring the Scottish sale back.

“We’ve seen some very significant record prices for Scottish artists and it’s not just about the Colourists.

“We really wanted to focus on the middle market of Scottish art, which is very exciting at the moment.”

The 76 lots coming up for sale in London will go on display in Edinburgh ahead of the sale in a special three-day exhibition being mounted at the Assembly Rooms in George Street starting on 30 October.

Highlights include Cadell’s painting, The Cheval Glass, of the artist’s long-time muse, Bethia Don Wauchope, which is being sold off by George Watson’s College, and is expected to fetch up to £350,000.

A 1910 Cadell of Venice’s famous Florian’s Cafe has an estimated valuation of up to £600,000 in the catalogue.

Peploe’s painting of pink roses, which is said by Sotheby’s to reflect a “lifelong obsession” to paint the perfect still life, is expected to generate bids of up to £450,000.

Fergusson’s Parisian street scene, which he painted in 1907, had a price tag of up to £150,000, while his portrait of a nude bather at Antibes is hoped to fetch up to £100,000.

A 1930 painting by Hunter of stocks in a white case is expected to attract bids of up to £250,000.

Sotheby’s held its first sale at Gleneagles in 1967 and stand-alone Scottish sales were a fixture there from 1973. However, in 2009 Sotheby’s announced the sale was relocating to its London showroom. The last dedicated sale of Scottish work was held there in 2010.