The 13 lots included works by three of the big names in 20th Century Scottish art: Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell (1883-1937), Samuel John Peploe (1871-1935) and George Leslie Hunter (1879-1931). With all 13 pictures finding buyers at the auction, they added a hammer total of £1.23m to the Edinburgh sale’s bottom line.
The paintings had been purchased between 1920 and 1940 by Walter Quarry Wood, a surgeon and collector from Edinburgh who was advised by Duncan Macdonald of the dealers Alex Reid and Lefevre. They hung for many years in his family residence in the city’s New Town.
Leading the consignment at L&T was Cadell’s A still life of roses that drew enthusiastic bidding against a £200,000-300,000 estimate. The 15in x 18in (38cm x 46cm) signed oil on board featured an angular cobalt-blue jug filled with pink roses, set against the lilac ground of his Ainslie Place studio walls. It was knocked down at £360,000.
While another work by the same artist The Wedgwood Vase sold below estimate at £240,000, a decent competition came for Cadell’s Iona, Roina in the Sound of Mull. Reflecting the artist’s spiritual attachment to the holy island, which he visited frequently from 1920 until his death, often in the company of his lifelong friend and fellow artist Samuel Peploe, the 15in x 18in (38cm x 46cm) signed oil on board overshot a £50,000-70,000 estimate and sold at £82,000.
Peploe Still Lifes
Two still lifes by Peploe also featured in the Wood collection. Roses in a Green Vase, a 20in x 16in (51cm x 41cm) signed oil on canvas dated to c.1924, was estimated at £120,000-180,000 and sold at £135,000. The slightly later Still life of Tulips in a Vase was a 20in x 16in (51cm x 41cm) signed oil on canvas that demonstrated the artist’s looser, more textural technique of the early 1930s. It sold at £95,000 (est: £100,000-150,000).
Another Colourist work that came from the Wood collection was George Leslie Hunter’s (1879-1931) A Still life of roses and fruit. The 18in x 16in (46cm x 41cm) signed oil on canvas was estimated at £50,000-70,000 and sold above predictions at £76,000.
The overall total for L&T’s sale on June 9 was £2.6m (including premium).