Annual Scottish Sale got off to a flying start today taking over £1.25m during a morning of picture sales.
Anne Redpaths beautiful 1937 painting, Still Life with Michaelmas Daises sold for an astonishing £134,000 well over the pre-sale estimate of £30,000- 50,000 and Cagnes by the same artist sold for £114,000 against an estimate of £60,000 80,000.
George Leslie Hunters vibrantly coloured Still Life made £144,000 and one of Samuel John Peploes iconic paintings of Iona sold for £86,000.
The Head of Pictures at Bonhams Edinburgh Chris Brickley said, This was a very strong sale with good quality works. Im particularly pleased to see the Redpaths doing so well and getting the recognition which her talent deserves.
In total the paintings sale made over £1,250,000 with 86% sold by lot and 94% sold by value.
The Scottish sale continues over the next three days and includes, tomorrow, the auction of a bottle of whisky recovered from the Whisky Galore shipwreck.
In 1941, the SS Politician set sail for Kingston, Jamaica with a cargo which included pianos, motor parts, bedding and 28,000 cases (264,000 bottles) of whisky. The ship ran aground in a gale off the Outer Hebrides near the island of Eriskay. Luckily the crew were rescued unharmed; and so, over the next few weeks, was the whisky. Islanders, from Eriskay and beyond, starved of whisky by war time rationing, systematically liberated around 24,000 bottles before the authorities caught up with them. Some of the looters were fined; some ended up in jail; few of the stolen bottles were recovered. The hull of the ship was blown up by a frustrated local customs officer to put the whisky beyond temptation, prompting one anguished islander to exclaim, "Dynamiting whisky! You wouldn't think there'd be men in the world so crazy as that!"
In 1947 the Scottish author, Compton MacKenzie wrote a novel, Whisky Galore, based on the incident which, two years later, was turned into a successful Ealing Comedy film of the same name.
Whisky from the Politician rarely appears at auction. In 1987, 8 bottles were retrieved from the wreck which still lies submerged off the coast of Eriskay and sold for £4,000. Despite extensive salvage efforts in 1989 only 24 more bottles were recovered.