Lot 1457 stole the show on Thursday evening as the first The Scottish Pictures Auction Sale of 2015 got underway. Estimated at £8000 – 12000, the 20 x 24 inch "Sannox Bay, Arran" had already attracted a plethora of commission bids and a mass of phone bidders from around the UK and beyond. The "fifth Scottish Colourist" encouraged four bidders to keep going beyond the £20,000 threshold and eventually sold to a Scottish phone bidder for a mighty £24,000 (£28,880 premium).
While the seller is presumably still enjoying a bottle or two of Bollinger they will no doubt be rightly pleased that they decided to sell this excellent picture through the dedicated The Scottish Pictures Auction. All the evidence confirms that specialist dedicated auctions deliver optimum prices. The harnessing of the internet to auctions now makes buying at auction all around the world relatively simple and easy. With literally hundreds of auctions taking place every week, prospective private buyers don't have time to sift through every online catalogue but do invariably search the dedicated auctions which feature a high concentration of the items they collect. It's all quite obvious, when you stop to think about it.
Rugged coastal scenery and little private coves were well suited to Milne's graphic ability and gave fresh impetus to his art. His paintings of the coast of Arran reveal a blend of vibrant colour together with an intimacy which came from the familiarity of working and living on the island. It's easy to believe that he painted St Tropez and beyond for the sake of his art, but that he painted Arran because he loved it and loved living there. There's a sense with his later Arran work that here is an artist who has well and truly honed his style, mastered his technique and painted purely for his own pleasure but with the confidence that his commercial success was already firmly established.
Maclauchlan Milne is still labelled "The Fifth Scottish Colourist" and whilst his paintings don't sell at the dizzy heights of those by Cadell, Fergusson, Hunter & Peploe, his work is highly sought after and private collectors are eager and willing to do battle with each other to win the best examples. For any considering the sale of a good John Maclauchlan Milne, The Scottish Pictures Auction on 22nd March provides the perfect platform and a truly international audience.
The British & International Pictures Auction (22nd February) is already building to be a strong sale and the Pictures Department are currently accepting entries. Interested sellers should contact Natasha Raskin on 0141 810 2880 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.