Anemonie by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, £30,000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

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The group of seven market-fresh works on paper offered on October 11, including four flower studies, had belonged to William Meldrum, Mackintosh’s friend and fellow student at the Glasgow School of Art in the 1880s.

They formed part of the 1933 Mackintosh memorial exhibition in the MacLellan Galleries on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street and were gifted to the art club in 1984.

Mackintosh began creating pencil on paper flower sketches as far back as his student days in the 1880s.

The 10 x 8in (26 x 20cm) pencil drawing Anemonie was one such early example. He notes in the cartouche that the plant was found at Lamlash on Arran in 1893, pressed, and then sketched three years later in 1896. It was modestly estimated at £4000-6000 but sold for £30,000 to a private collector.

Artistic rejuvenation

It was during a 10-month period in 1914-15 that Mackintosh - who had left his architectural practice in Glasgow under a cloud - created a celebrated series of botanical watercolour studies at Walberswick in Suffolk.

One contemporary suggested Mackintosh produced them for a book commissioned by a German publisher (a project shelved after the outbreak of war) but it was also an opportunity to re-sharpen his artistic vision.


Lavender, Walberswick by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, £30,000 at Lyon & Turnbull.

The 11½ x 8½in (29 x 22cm) pencil and watercolour Lavender, Walberswick from 1915 was one of around 30-40 finished works painted at the tranquil coastal village.

The most detailed of the sketches offered at L&T, it was signed with both the artist’s initials and also those of his wife Margaret Mackintosh, denoting, like a diary entry, that she was present when it was drawn. It, too, sold well above estimate at £30,000, again to a private collector.

The remaining sketches ranged from a pencil on tracing paper design for a fabric pattern sold at £2000 to £6500 for a series of pencil and watercolour plant studies on a single sheet dated c.1900.