15th Feb, 2024 10:00

The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction

Lot 153


oil on canvas, signed and dated '68

image size 61cm x 118cm, overall size 75cm x 133cm

Note: Herbert Whone was born in Bingley, West Yorkshire, where his parents were both employed in the cloth mills. He was encouraged by his mother to ''improve'' himself culturally, and from an early age took photographs and practised the violin. After education at the Royal Manchester College of Music (now the Royal Northern College of Music) and Manchester University, he secured positions in the Royal Opera House Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, before moving to Glasgow in 1955, where he took up the position of deputy leader of the Scottish National Orchestra. He was inspired by Glasgow's changing fortunes and painted a series of notable canvases featuring the beauty of a city and surrounding areas in transition. His paintings of trams and shipbuilding on and around the Clyde, to pick two of his fondest subjects, were presented with warmth and beauty, almost impressionistic in their depiction of glowing sunsets and use of rich colour. Herbert Whone (often incorrectly catalogued as Herbert Bannister Whone, his father's name) enjoyed a degree of commercial success and critical acclaim in the 1950s/60s and his early known collectors included Joan Eardley, Margot Sandeman, Cyril Gerber, Johnny Beattie and Magnus Magnusson. In early 2010 we offered "A Clyde Boatyard" by Whone in The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction which sold for £650 (hammer) which at the time was the second highest recorded auction price for the artist. This relative success ignited our interest in Herbert Whone and when another example came to us a few months later, we included a lengthy lot essay in the catalogue to help inform and inspire collectors. In the years since we have continued to promote Herbert Whone's paintings which has seen us set new auction records at £2100, £3000, £4200, £6000, £7000, £8000, £11000, £13000 and then in September 2021 "Tram & Figures in Rain, Byres Road" (by Whone) sold for £18,000 (hammer). Although most of the Whone paintings we have offered are of Scottish scenes, his exceptional North of England paintings have also been growing in value "The Old Farmhouse" selling for £4900 and "Factories in the Snow" achieving £8000. The numbers of Herbert Whone paintings appearing at auction are small but the buyer demand continues to grow. Public collections include: Glasgow Museums & Galleries, The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, The Hepworth, Kirklees Museums & Galleries, Salford Museums & Galleries and The Mercer Gallery (Harrogate). A copy of "Herbert Whone, Glasgow - In Transition" (a 112 page illustrated hardback book) accompanies this lot.


A condition report is offered as an indication of any issues visible to the naked eye. As none of our staff is a professional conservator or restorer, buyers must satisfy themselves in respect of condition and McTear’s can provide contact details of local professionals who can provide fully comprehensive expert reports, usually for a modest charge. The condition report does not form part of any contract between McTear's and the buyer, and all lots are offered "as is" in accordance with our Terms of Business available on our website.


Sold for £2,800
Estimated at £3,000 - £5,000

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