A new auction record for an artwork by a Scottish Colourist was set today at Sothebys
in London when Samuel John Peploes Tulips sold for £623,650 / $964,224 / 717,632. The painting eclipsed the pre-sale high estimate (the painting had an estimate of £300,000-500,000) and established a new auction record for the artist and a Scottish Colourist by a considerable margin. **The previous auction record for a work by Peploe was £529,250 and this was set by his Roses in 2008.
Peploe strove for three decades to paint the perfect still life and the artists still lifes are arguably the most celebrated in his oeuvre. Sothebys sale presented one of Peploes finest. Tulips dated from circa 1912, when he had a studio in Paris . The painting has a distinguished provenance, having once been owned by David Cargill (1872-1939), who had a notable collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings. Peploe experimented with a new way of representing pictorial space, and in Tulips he deliberately flattens perspective, encircles objects with dark lines of paint, and emphasises pattern and line, as seen in the stems of the drooping tulips.
A new auction record was also set this morning for an artwork by Peploes Colourist contemporary, Francis Campbell Boileau Cadell, when Florians Café, Venice , sold for £553,250 / $855,380 / 636,623, double the high estimate (£150,000-250,000). The previous auction record for a work by Cadell was £301,250 and this was set by his Carnations in 2008.
Discussing the record prices achieved, Michael Grist, Sothebys Scottish Pictures specialist, said: I am delighted that these two superb and important works by Peploe and Cadell achieved record prices, not only for the artists, but in the case of Peploe, for a Scottish Colourist at auction. These record-breaking prices are a testament to the quality and appeal of these wonderful pictures, and show that their prices have moved up to a higher level. The results confirm Sothebys continuing dominance in this market in recent years.
Both works were the top lots in a sale of Scottish Pictures, which achieved a total of £2.8 million.