Important Colourist painting makes over £420,000 at Bonhams Scottish sale

The Scottish Sale
Part I
20 Aug 2012

An important still life by the Scottish Colourist, Samuel Peploe, was sold today (August 20) for £421,250 at Bonhams Annual Scottish Sale Part I in Edinburgh.

Still Life of Mixed Roses in Chinese Vase, which had been estimated at £200,000-300,000, was painted at a pivotal moment in Peploe's artistic career. In the early 1900s Peploe and his fellow Colourist, George Hunter, explored still life painting, a genre for which there was no established tradition in British art. These early, pre First World War, still life paintings were on a small scale and featured everyday objects against a dark background, much influenced by Manet and the Dutch masters. After his return from Paris in 1912, the relatively conservative Peploe became more experimental, employing more vibrant colour and dramatic form.

View of Edinburgh Castle sells for over £100,000

Elsewhere in the sale, a recently rediscovered painting of Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street as it would have appeared to the Victorians was sold for £109,250.

The huge canvas – it is over 5ft high - was painted in the early 1860s by the Carlisle born Samuel Bough who after a career as a theatre scene painter settled in Scotland in 1855. As an artist and man he had a reputation for being wild and erratic but his best works are regarded as masterpieces. His friend, Robert Louis Stevenson, wrote admiringly in his obituary of the artist, "a painting by Bough was an act of dashing conduct like a capture of a fort in war." Edinburgh Castle from Princes Street had been in the same family since its purchase and had almost certainly never been exhibited. Its sale establishes a new auction record for a work by the artist.

Head of Pictures at Bonhams Edinburgh, Chris Brickley said, "These are two stunning works by important painters in the history of art in Scotland and I am not surprised they were so keenly sought after."

In all, the sale raised £1,500,000 with 80% of the lots being sold.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

  1. Chris Brickley
    22 Queen St
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom EH2 1JX
    Work +44 131 240 2297
    FaxFax: +44 131 220 2547

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