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A strong combination of trade and private buyers, the majority Irish, competed in the room for the top seller, pictured, entitled Professor R.B. McDowell leaving the rubrics, Trinity College, Dublin. The 16 by 18in (41 x 46cm) oil on canvas was in good condition, as were the majority of offered works, and against a £2000-3000 estimate it went to an American private buyer at £20,000.

Small at 71/2 by 71/2in (19 x 19cm), the royal connection of the oil on board Three Monks at Mount Athos was the likely explanation for the ten-times bottom estimate result – Hill had painted on the Greek mountain with the Prince of Wales who wrote the catalogue foreword. The oil was chased by an Irish private to £6000.

Hill first travelled to Tory Island off the North coast of Donegal in 1957 and whilst painting there in 1960 he met James Dixon (1887-1970).

Hill encouraged the novice artist to paint his island surroundings and at South Kensington Dixon’s naive work was commanding prices on a par with his mentor.

Self Portrait an oil on paper from Hill’s collection measuring 211/2 by 2ft 51/2in (55 x 75cm) attracted tremendous interest which in William Porter’s opinion reflected
“the growing interest in the naive school of painters”.

With an estimate of £4000-6000 the hammer fell in favour of the UK trade for £10,000. Commanding high prices in his native Ulster and in Dublin the work of Basil Blackshaw (b.1932) has yet to feature prominently in London.

However, significant interest in Geraniums, a 16 by 20in (41 x 51cm) oil on canvas, saw it taken above estimate for £13,000, perhaps the beginnings of international success for the artist.