The Minute Book of The Auld Lang Syne Sketching Club, £2000 at McTear’s.

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It came for sale at McTear’s (24% buyer’s premium) in Glasgow on July 20 with a guide of £100-200 but sold via for £2000.

This society for Scottish artists living in London had its origins in the Smashers Club, a drawing club created in Edinburgh New Town in 1848. The founding members were William Fettes Douglas, William Crawford, Thomas Faed, James Archer and John Ballantyne - almost all of whom went on to national recognition.

The exact origin of the club’s name is unclear but it is thought to reference a pub and imply a degree of alcohol consumption.

Down south

In 1863, largely due to the relocation of the members, the club removed to London and renamed itself the Auld Lang Syne Sketching Club.

New members included Erskine Nicol, John Stirling and Andrew Maclure - all of them names mentioned in the pages of this minute book that documents the events of meetings held at various London hostels.

The opening pages dated May 1865 read: ‘Four members of the Smashers Sketching Club (instituted in Edinburgh April 1848) having become residents in London, it seemed good unto them to reconstitute the Club in the new locality under a new title - namely as the Auld Lang Syne Club - and to this end a preliminary meeting was held at Mr Erskine Nicol’s on Saturday November 21sr 1863. The Smashers present being John Faed, Thomas Faed, Erskine Nicol and John Ballantyne.’

Ballantyne, who is today best known for his 17 canvases showing contemporary artists at work in their studios, painted a series of head and shoulders images of members of the Auld Lang Syne Sketching Club, London, in the 1860s.