First look: The Scottish art treasures set to come under the hammer this month

Rarely-seen paintings created by some of Scotland's best-known artists are about to come under the hammer in a major sale spanning more than 150 years.

This Joan Eardley painting of fishing nets at at the coastal village of Catterline, in Aberdeenshire, where she spent her later years has been valued at up to £60,000.
This Joan Eardley painting of fishing nets at at the coastal village of Catterline, in Aberdeenshire, where she spent her later years has been valued at up to £60,000.

Works by all four of the Scottish Colourists are expected to fetch up to £300,000 when they come under the hammer in the annual Sotheby’s sale of Scottish art in London.

Paintings drawn from several private collections will be coming onto the market for the first time in decades, or are being auctioned off for the first time in week-long sale, which runs from 10-17 November.

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Experts at Sotheby’s believe that two thirds of the lots in the sale will be making their first ever appearance at auction.

This painting of Iona's White Strand could fetch up to £70,000 at auction this month.

As well as paintings by the Scottish Colourists – SJ Peploe, FCB. Cadell, George Leslie Hunter and JD Fergusson – other works being auctioned off are by some of Scotland’s leading female painters of all-time, including Joan Eardley and Anne Redpath, as well as modern-day artists like Dame Elizabeth Blackadder and Alison Watt.

Highlights of the sale include a painting of pink roses created by Peploe in 1906, which is coming onto the market for the first time since it was sold at Gleneagles in 1975, and “Still Life with Roses, Oranges and Apples, which is said to date from the mid-1920s.

Arthur Melville's painting The Fête of the Dosseh, which is expected to fetch up to £70,000, is said to the one of the most important works by the Angus artist, who toured the Middle East in 1881, to come up for sale. The painting, which was chosen by the artist himself as one of his favourite works, was owed initially by Sir James Bell, Lord Provost of Glasgow.

Thomas Podd, head of Scottish art at Sotheby’s, said: “This year’s sale of Scottish art is one of our strongest ever, and covers all the bases in its range and appeal.

SJ Peploe's painting Paint Roses could command up to £300,000 at the forthcoming auction when it comes under the hammer for the first time in 45 years.

Particularly the Scottish Colourists’ selection, which includes two superb still lifes by Peploe that speak to each other so eloquently, one of them a very fresh, early example from the first decade of the 20th century which has been unseen since 1975, the other painted in the early 1920s and making its first ever appearance on the market.

"Together with the other Scottish Colourists and the variety of subjects on offer, this makes for a fully rounded overview of their careers.

"Other highlights include the finest watercolour by Arthur Melville to come to auction in living memory owned by the same family for generations; a selection of works by 20th-century post-war artists, including expressive landscapes by Joan Eardley, whose star is rising; and a super-chic painting by Alison Watt. And sitting in the middle of the sale, alongside individual works drawn from private Scottish collections, a small group of works sourced from a private collection in Edinburgh that represents a fantastic survey of Scottish 20th-century painting.”

A spokesman for Sotheby’s added: "A highlight of the sale is a wonderful collection which has been carefully and passionately built up over a number of years and represents a fantastic survey of Scottish 20th-century painting, including elegant and refined still lifes to sweeping landscapes and vistas. Represented are Cadell, Fergusson, Milne, Hunter, Blackadder, Gillies, Redpath and MacTaggart amongst many others.”

Arthur Melville's The Fête of the Dosseh, which is expected to fetch up to £70,000, is said to the one of the most important works by the artist to come up for sale.

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