Celtic Revival Masterpiece at Scottish Sale in Edinburgh

A remarkable decorative garden fantasy painting by one of the major figures of the Celtic Revival movement, John Duncan, is a highlight of Bonhams annual Scottish Sale in Edinburgh on Wednesday 15 May. The Garden is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Painted in 1926, the work was commissioned by the Stewart family of Keavil House, Dunfermline, Fife, and is almost certainly the artist's interpretation of the Secret Garden in the grounds. Keavil House is now a hotel, but traces its origins to the 15th century when Dunfermline was the Royal capital of Scotland.

Bonhams Head of Scottish Paintings, Chris Brickley said, "The Garden is an extraordinary painting, fusing naturalism with charming elements of fantasy. A highly decorative piece, it reflects Duncan's deep interest in symbolism and his background in mural painting and stained glass design."

Other highlights include:

- The Old Tolbooth, Edinburgh by Alexander Nasmyth (1758-1840). The Old Tolbooth was established by Royal Charter in the 14th Century, by St Giles Cathedral, and in its time hosted the Burgh Council, the early Parliament of Scotland and the Court of Session. It then became the town jail, and from 1785 executions were carried out on the roof. It was a favoured subject for Nasmyth, and several versions survive. The artist and Sir Walter Scott met to watch the dismantling of it in 1817, and it featured in Scott's celebrated novel The Heart of Midlothian. Estimate £30,000-50,000.

- Woman with Watermelon by Alberto Morrocco (1917-1998). A typically exuberant and colourful late work by the artist who produced some of his most memorable work after his retirement as Head of Painting at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (now part of Dundee University). Estimate: £20,000-30,000.

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