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Professor Acton predeceased his wife back in the late 1970s and all the works on offer at this sale, Thomson Roddick & Medcalf’s first-ever solely devoted to pictures, had not been seen on the market for some 25 years.

Such market freshness offset the absence of a signature on this Duncan Grant (1885-1978) panel painting, right, of a woman arranging flowers which the Actons had bought from The Leicester Galleries at some unknown point in the distant past. The last lot in the sale, the 191/2 by 13in (50 x 33cm) oil sold at £5800 to the Scottish trade.

An Acton provenance also helped the Sir William George Gillies (1898-1973) landscape watercolour Gladhouse sell at £3600. Signed and dated 1962, this large 221/2 by 2ft 6in (57 x 77cm) watercolour had been number 7 in Aitken Dott’s 1963 Festival exhibition in Edinburgh.

Overall the sale netted just over £70,000 with a top price of £10,500 given by a private buyer for the signed and dated 1943 pencil drawing A Village Station by L.S. Lowry (1887-1976), measuring 121/2 by 91/2in (32 x 24cm) which had been in a Scottish private collection for the last 20 years.