Sequential Success

On Sunday 15th February, McTear’s held its bi-monthly British & International Pictures Auction. Held for the first time on a Sunday afternoon, McTear’s was delighted to welcome such a large audience – both café and auction saleroom were bustling!

Lot 1, ‘Picking Blossom’ by William Stephen Coleman got the sale off to a great start – the nostalgic subject matter and immaculate, detailed execution of a young girl picking blossom in period Victorian costume attracted several admiring glances during the weekend view at McTear’s. A successful telephone bid of £1,600 secured the lot – a great result for a painting that (as we hear so regularly in the auction house) has been in a cupboard for several years!

Hot on the trail of Lot 1 was, of course, Lot 2, ‘A Relic of the Past’ by Stanley Royle. Listed in the artist’s catalogue raisonné as ‘whereabouts unknown’, this uncovered gem (from a private Greenock collection) is a real ‘collector’s piece’ – fresh to the market, painted in the 1920s (when the artist was influenced a great deal by Scotland’s James Guthrie and is known to have produced his finest work) and featuring a model used by the artist in other contemporary works, this painting couldn’t help but attract the attention of the serious Stanley Royle collectors.

When the lot went ‘under the hammer’, quite a battle ensued. All available telephone lines were booked but it was Victoria’s telephone bidder who secured the lot for a hammer price of £17,000, a new UK auction house hammer price record for Stanley Royle’s work and a proud achievement for McTear’s.

Next in line to cause a stir was Henriette Ronner Knip’s ‘Kitten with Chessboard’ (lot 3), which soared above the estimate reaching a final hammer price of £7,500. This outstanding work by the Dutch artist is full of allegories, including a serpent in a glass jar and a burning cigar. Although, the star of the painting is Ronner Knip’s kitten playing with chess pieces, a subject matter she became famous for during her lifetime, with patrons such as the Queen of Belgium and the Princess of Wales making her one of the leading painters in her genre. This ‘Kitten with Chessboard’ is certain to be the centre of the winning buyer’s collection!

The ball kept rolling with lots 4, 5, 6 and 7, with Herbert Davis Richter’s ‘Summer Sunlight’ selling for £800, two paintings by French – Russian artist Alexandre Sacha Garbell selling for £1,000 and £150, respectively, and finally James Herbert Snell’s ‘Port Brescon’ reaching well above the estimate for a final hammer of £1,100. The auction continued in this successful manner, with plenty of phone and internet bidders competing against the room. Be sure to look out for The Scottish Pictures coming up on March 22nd, entries are still welcome until the 2nd of March.


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