The first came at Sotheby’s with the fresh-to-market assemblage of 31 Colourist paintings from the Harrison Collection.
The collection was assembled in the 1920s and ‘30s by Glasgow ship owner Major Ion Harrison, an important patron and friend of all four members of the group: Cadell, Peploe, Hunter and Fergusson.
The £3.67m sale was 84% sold and established a record for FCB Cadell (1883-1937) at £720,000.
This was paid for Reflection, a 1915, 2ft 1in x 2ft 6in (63.5 x 76cm), oil on canvas from a series depicting Miss Bertia Don Wauchope standing beside a mirror. The setting is the drawing room of Cadell’s home in George Street, Edinburgh.
Against a £400,000-600,000 estimate, it was knocked down to a UK private collector, eclipsing the artist’s auction record of £570,000 set by a larger full-length painting of the same subject sold at Sotheby’s in May 2013.
Peploe high mark
A week later, Christie’s achieved an auction record for any work by a Scottish Colourist when an unusually large 2ft 6in x 2ft 1in (76 x 64cm) still-life by Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935) tipped over top estimate to sell to a ‘significant’ private collection for £820,000.
Still Life with Tulips, discussed and pictured in ATG No 2348, had already achieved saleroom success: in 2006, it was knocked down at £480,000 at Sotheby’s Hopetoun House sale, a record for a Scottish Colourist at the time.
“The scale, colour and intensity of the piece is what really drove the price,” said William Porter, senior director at Christie’s, who added that the piece attracted several international bidders new to the Colourist market.
The previous record for Peploe was the £800,000 set by The Coffee Pot (1905) that sold in the same saleroom in 2011.