However, a rogue bidder, who secured all the lots, then failed to pay up and the group was reoffered by the auction house on November 7.
All eight pictures sold on the second time of asking, but at prices lower than in September (see ATG No 2313, Auction Reports).
“The higher values attained in the earlier sale were of course at a level beyond even the Hong Kong market, so we were unsurprised the sales were not concluded,” said Gary Loftus, auctioneer and director of Andrew Smith & Son.
Seven of the paintings were ink and watercolour works by Cheong Soo Pieng (1917-83), and had been acquired by the vendor’s father in Singapore in the 1960s.
Like in September, the top-seller was a 3ft 1in x 17in (94 x 43cm) composition depicting moored boats in Kampong fishing village and backed with pages from a Singapore edition of The Telegraph dated 1962.
It was secured upwards of its £2000-3000 guide at £12,500, some way off the £33,000 it was originally knocked down for.
A pair of figurative portraits were also among the Soo Pieng consignment including this 3ft 1in x 18in (93 x 45cm) portrait of a young warrior in traditional costume, probably from Sarawak in Borneo. It sold above estimate at £8750.
Fishing village view
Alongside the watercolours was a colourful oil on board of a fishing village attributed to the Nanyang School artist Chen Wen Hsi (1906-91).
The 21in x 2ft 6in (53 x 75cm) work came from a separate source and had been inherited by the vendor from his father, a professor at the University of Malaysia in Singapore, during the 1950s. Interest in it had cooled significantly since its September outing when it made £58,000.
Here, it scrapped away at £12,000 against a £15,000-30,000 guide.
“Had we achieved the current results first time around, we would have been satisfied as these were good results and probably bang-on the UK market values,” said auctioneer Loftus.