The collection was assembled in the 1920s and 1930s by Glasgow ship owner Major Ion Harrison, an important patron and friend of the four artists – Cadell, Peploe, Hunter and Fergusson.
The pictures remained together until recently at his Victorian villa Croft House in Helensburgh, Argyll and had been passed down through Harrison’s descendants.
The lots offered on June 12 had a combined estimate of £2.9m-4.3m and generated a hammer total of £3.67m with 26 works sold (84%).
Cadell’s 2ft 1in x 2ft 6in (63.5 x 76cm) oil on canvas Reflection from 1915 is from a series depicting Miss Bertia Don Wauchope standing beside a mirror. In this case 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 at £720,000, 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.
The buyer was a British private collector.
Sotheby’s total for its four Modern British art sales last week was £21.8m including premium, with a dedicated sale of works on paper from the personal collection of Howard Hodgkin adding £1.18m to the bottom line.
Bonhams’ £4.03m sale on June 13 was led by Donnelly’s Hollow by Jack B Yeats (1871-1957) which sold under estimate at £280,000.
The auction though posted a record for a work on paper by John Minton (1917-1947) when Summer Landscape overshot a £30,000-50,000 estimate and was knocked down at £120,000. It was executed in 1945 after visits by the painter to south Cornwall.
Christie’s Modern British sales take place on June 19-20.