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A highlight of the Heppe collection sale was the international interest in a work by Swiss engineer, architect, painter, and musician Louis Soutter (1871-1942). Raven Food sold for well above the £3000-6000 estimate for a hammer price of £42,000.

The Heppe collection was assembled from the 1970s by bottled water businessman Christian Heppe, who founded Hildon Mineral Water.

His collection largely focused on artists who were treated at Maria Gugging clinic in Austria.

Artists from this so-called Gugging group have gained significant traction on the secondary market and 10 works were included in Sotheby’s sale of the David Bowie collection. Famously, Bowie’s visit to the Gugging clinic with Brian Eno in 1994 inspired his Outside album.

Louis Soutter

This Louis Soutter ‘Andrea Pre Vitali’ (1930-37) sold for a hammer price of £5500 against a £4000-8000 estimate.

The Heppe collection, which had previously been stored in Southampton after Hampshire-based Heppe died last year, made a premium-inclusive auction total of £650,000.

Other highlights were August Walla’s pencil, coloured crayon and biro on paper Walla im Russland (self portrait as a Russian girl) which was hammered down at £7800 against a £1000-2000 estimate.

The collection also included artworks that were not Outsider art, such as bronze sculptures by Danish artist Per Kirkeby. Der Grosse Kopf mit Arm (1983) sold for what is expected to be an auction record of a hammer price of £52,000.