The Year in Review, 2023


Over the past twelve months at McTear’s the hammer has come down more than 37,000 times in over 160 auctions. 


The auction calendar ended on a high with the rare Banksy hand-finished screenprint Agile attracting international attention and selling for £65,000 in The Scottish Contemporary Art Auction in December. Across the year a host of titans of the contemporary art world featured in the saleroom, including thirty eight pictures by John Bellany and impressive works by Peter Howson, John Byrne, Steven Campbell, Jolomo, Gerard Burns and Graham McKean to name but a few. 



The Glasgow boys appeared on several occasions in The Scottish Pictures Auction, with Sir John Lavery’s impressive self-portrait and Hornel’s moving work, The Little Shepherdess, just two of the highlights.  



Additionally, Portrait of the Fiddler Neil Gow by arguably Scotland’s greatest ever portraitist, Sir Henry Raeburn, outstripped estimates to sell for £36,000, while Scotland’s ‘fifth colourist’ John Maclauchlan Milne came into sharp focus in March when his oil of A West Coast Harbour fetched £19,000 in The Scottish Pictures Auction.    


In the field of sports, McTear’s market leading sporting auctions attracted interest from fans at home and overseas, a highlight being Celtic legend Bertie Auld’s collection of match-worn European shirts selling for £100,000 in October.  

The country’s most prestigious distilleries featured heavily in McTear’s monthly whisky sales, with impressive examples of Macallan, Springbank, Bowmore, Highland Park, Laphroaig and many others underlining the investment potential of these rare drams.  



Meanwhile a plethora of Rolex watches appeared at auction throughout 2023, with much sought after examples of vintage Submariner and Pearlmaster timepieces fetching more than £10,000 eachWrist watches by Swiss giants Omega, Patek Philippe and Jaeger-LeCoultre also came under the hammerover the course of the year in the country’s only dedicated luxury watches auction. 



Diamonds were at the heart of the ever-popular specialist jewellery auctions in 2023, with the jewellery department bringing to auction more than twice the previous year’s number of lots. Highlights included a stunning diamond line bracelet selling for £19,000 and a beautiful diamond set love bangle by legendary designer Cartier, which set hearts aflutter when it fetched £11,000.



McTear’s has established an enviable reputation in the field of Asian Art in Scotland, with the auction calendar regularly featuring rare Chinese and Japanese lots. In June a much sought after Chinese silver ingot defied estimates to sell for £7,000, while a Chinese Netsuke was bought for £6,500 by a buyer in the United States. 



Toys and pop culture have become a staple in the McTear’s calendar with the auction a firm favourite with buyers and enthusiasts in these genres. Movie memorabilia is a particularly hot topic, with an extremely rare cinema poster for the 1962 James Bond movie, Dr No, attracting strong international interest as it sold for almost £13,000 - five times its pre-auction estimate

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We were also thrilled to help raise much needed funds for hugely deserving charities. This included a fabulous £60,000 for Glasgow Children's Hospital Charity, with Steve McGill and the brilliant Urban Art Auction in October. As well as over £3,500 for Glasgow Women's Aid, a charity McTear's has been linked to for eight years now, not to mention the amazing donations of Christmas gifts to help the women and children supported by this vital local charity to enjoy a magical festive period. 


McTear’s looks forward to 2024 with yet another eventful calendar of specialist auctions already scheduled. The potential of every lot offered for sale will once again be maximised as McTear’s continues to harness the power of online bidding as well as ‘traditional’ bidding, maintains first rate national and international sale marketing and promotion, and expands the specialist auction directory to ensure each lot is placed in front of a global bidding audience, all this whilst offering complimentary auction advice around Scotland, with a friendly and welcoming face. 

Advice on selling art, antiques, jewellery, watches, coins and whisky is free and without obligation. Entries are invited for all specialist auctions. 
To discuss consigning to a McTear's auction, or to make an appointment to visit our Glasgow Galleries, call 0141 810 2280, email or visit You can also contact a specialist by clicking here and completing the short form.  



All prices above include buyer’s premium and VAT thereon. 


We thank you sincerely for your custom in 2023 and we look forward to seeing you in the new year 


Browse the January 2024 auctions here >>


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