Scottish-themed pictures old and new were on the auction block including a pair of Jacobite portraits of the Old Pretender James Stuart and his wife Princess Maria Clementina.
Offered in L&T’s Scottish Works of Art & Whisky auction on August 12, these impressive 3ft 1in x 2ft 4in (96 x 73cm) oils were among numerous copies made and distributed among the Jacobites at home and abroad after the originals by Italian artist Francesco Trevisani (1656-1746).
James used portraiture to encourage support in his bid to gain the British throne after his father was deposed in 1688 in favour of William of Orange.
The pair at L&T had passed by direct family descent from WB Dunlop, a resident of Seton Castle in East Lothian from the late 1800s until his death in 1946. The Dunlop family believed the portraits were given to the Tytler family – a branch of the Setons that changed their name in the early 16th century – in recognition of their support for the Jacobite cause.
Undoubtedly boosted by their market freshness and reputed Jacobite provenance, the pair doubled hopes to sell for £18,500 to an international private buyer.
Held a week later on August 19, L&T’s Contemporary & Post War art auction was led by the prolific Port Seton painter John Bellany (1942-2013).
Though supply is abundant, demand remains solid and here all eight oils and three works on paper found new homes to the tune of nearly £70,000.
Among the still-lifes – a rarer genre in Bellany’s oeuvre – a large 3ft 11in x 2ft 11in (1.2m x 90cm) oil on canvas was typically vigorous, bright and busy but painted in a more unusual palette of reds and greens, rather than the blues and yellows associated with his coastal scenes. It sold to an international private buyer for £8500 against a £3000-5000 guide.
Topping the group at £11,000 (£4000-6000 estimate), Girl with Seagull was a smaller figurative oil depicting one of his typical stylised women by the sea.