'Dalmally (Scotland)' by Walter Hugh Paton – £600 at Parker Fine Art Auctions.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

It featured a wide-open vista and pleasant colouring but the main attraction, at least for the successful buyer at any rate, was the local historical interest it contained.

Signed by the artist, inscribed Dalmally (Scotland) and dated 21st June 1878, the 13½ x 21in (34 x 53cm) watercolour showed figures and a ridge to the right of the composition. These were, in fact, details of the building of the embankment for the Callander & Oban Railway, a hugely challenging project that was built between 1866-80 and one that changed the history of the area forever.

The watercolour appeared at the Parker Fine Art Auctions sale in Farnham, Surrey, on December 17 with a £200-300 estimate but, after a local effort on social media helped raise funds, the residents of Dalmally placed a successful £600 bid to secure the lot. It will now go on display in their community centre.


'Sea and Rocks, View of Baker’s Island, Salem Massachusetts' by Allen Tucker – £6000 at Parker Fine Art Auctions.

Also bringing competition but a bit higher up the price scale was Sea and Rocks, View of Baker’s Island, Salem Massachusetts, an oil on canvas by American artist Allen Tucker (1866-1939) estimated at £4000-6000.

Works by the New York-born artist rarely appear at UK auctions but this one had previously sold for £5520 at Bonhams in Oxford in October 2009.

Measuring 2ft 1in x 2ft 6in (64 x 76cm), it had comparable features to another view of the lighthouse on Baker’s Island that is now in the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Selling online on top estimate, it made a decent sum for the artist.