Friday - 31 October 2014

Colourist provides new pastures for Meddowes in his role as art broker

01 September 2004Written by ATG Reporter

TURN the clock back some 30 years, and regulars to Bonhams’ Knightbridge rooms might just recall a rather dapper, pinstripe-suited auctioneer by the name of Alexander Meddowes.

After 17 years, he left the London firm in 1984 to become deputy chairman of Christie's Scotland, but left that company last year.

He can still be seen wielding the gavel when he puts his rostrum expertise to good use at charity auctions, but his business life now revolves round his own fine art brokerage business with offices at 39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh (Tel: 0131 558 1000).

It is from his central Edinburgh space that, until September 3, Mr Meddowes is presenting A Tribute to Fergus.

This impressive exhibition comprises 122 fresh-to-market drawings (£1000-11,000) by the Scottish Colourist, John Duncan Fergusson (1874-1961).

The works being offered for sale come from a Scottish couple, who, now in their eighties, feel unsettled at having such a valuable collection in their home.

This may be a sad reflection on the times we live in, but it certainly gives an impeccable provenance to the drawings which span a period of over 40 years and illustrate the artist's time in Edinburgh, Paris, London, Harlech and Glasgow.

The earliest works date from 1898 and include two pencil drawings of Fergusson's father, priced at £1600 and £2500.

The show spans Fergusson's output up to 1941, the date of a coloured chalk study of a chair, table and flowers at Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, which costs £3500.

The bulk of the drawings are portraits, figure subjects like dancers and nudes and Paris café scenes.

They include a number of portraits, priced from £1700 to £3200, of the American artist Anne Estelle Rice (1877-1959) whom Fergusson met in 1907 at the resort of Paris-Plage in north-east France.

There is an excellent illustrated catalogue with an introduction by Philip Long of the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, and all the works can be viewed on the website, www.alexandermeddowes.com.

Mr Meddowes last week reported that within days of the show's opening about half the works had sold, including some to public galleries.

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ATG Reporter

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