‘Still Life with Tulips’ by Samuel John Peploe
‘Still Life with Tulips’ by Samuel John Peploe that sold for £820,000 at Christie’s, a record for the artist and a record for any work by a Scottish Colourist.

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The evening sale in this category on June 19 offered Still Life with Tulips with a £500,000-800,000 estimate. It was acquired by the vendor at Sotheby’s Hopetoun House sale in 2006, where it was knocked down at £480,000, also a record for a Scottish Colourist at the time.

The picture has long been deemed a fine example of Peploe’s numerous still-lifes, with its combination of harmonious composition and bold colouring. The 2ft 6in x 2ft 1in (76 x 64cm) oil on canvas from c.1919 was also relatively large for a Peploe.

At the auction, it drew competition from a number of parties before it sold with a hammer price of £820,000 to a “significant private collection” according to Christie’s.

The previous record for Peploe was the £800,000 set by The Coffee Pot that sold in the same saleroom in May 2011.

Henry Moore’s head

Christie’s Modern British art sale was held as part of its ‘20th Century art week’ alongside the Impressionist & Modern art auctions. This was in contrast to Sotheby’s, which held its Modern British sales last week but also included some high prices for works by Scottish Colourists.

Overall, Christie’s evening sale generated £26.4m including premium, with an impressive sell-thought rate of 94% (45 of the 48 lots sold).

The auction was led by a unique Henry Moore (1898-1986) carved head dating from c.1934-36 that overshot a £2m-3m estimate and was knocked down at £3.9m to a private buyer.

Offered fresh to the market, it had been purchased by the vendor in 1972 from Zurich dealership Gimpel & Hanover Galerie.

The catalogue entry pointed out some of its rare features – the forms of the eyes and the thin, incised lips that were unusual features in Moore’s sculpture – while the receding side of the face demonstrated an obvious debt to Cubism.

Head by Henry Moore

Head, a sculpture by Henry Moore carved from Hopton wood stone (a form of limestone) that sold for £3.9m at Christie’s.