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Issue 18 - Art and antiques news

Scotland Magazine Issue 18
January 2005


This article is 13 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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Art and antiques news

The end of an era

A small part of Edinburgh’s history was sold off in pieces recently as the last remnants of prestigious furniture firm Whytock and Reid went under the hammer at Lyon and Turnbull.

Whytock and Reid was established in 1807 and for nearly 200 years reigned as one of the most prestigious of United Kingdom furnishers. The company’s furniture, carpets and furnishings graced the great houses and castles of Scotland including Holyrood Palace, and more recently, the Royal Yacht Britannia. The auction room was crowded with more than 600 people, collectors and ordinary members of the public looking for a memento.

John Mackie, director of Lyon and Turnbull remarked:

“Each lot was hotly pursued with most of the items going for three or four times their estimate. It seems to have caught the public’s imagination and was a great opportunity to buy a unique piece of Edinburgh history. Items of furniture, cloth, fabric and carpets all sold well, each telling its own story about this world famous company.”

The lots included this Royal Warrant, sold to an English dealer for £2,600 ($4,500) – more than five times its estimated value. The painted oak plaque features the Queen’s coat of arms, and hung above the doors of the firm’s Edinburgh headquarters for more than 150 years.

In total, the auction raised more than £220,000 ($385,000) for David Reid, the fifth generation of his family to head the company and sadly, the one to see the remnants auctioned off.

Rare Mackintoshs on display

Next year, a Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery will bring together a collection of watercolours that have not been seen together for more than 70 years. The watercolours in this rare exhibition were painted between 1923 and 1927 in the French village of Port Vendres, where Mackintosh lived. He had been commissioned by a London gallery to produce 50 paintings, but died after the completion of number 44.

He is pictured here in a portrait by Francis Henry Newbery, (1869 – 1928).

Three of these are unaccounted for, but organisers hope the exhibition will raise awareness of the missing artworks and that new information may emerge.

Personal letters from this period, sent by Mackintosh to his wife in Glasgow, will also be displayed alongside the watercolours.

Exhibition previews

Andy’s best 2nd February – 2nd May 2005
Andy Warhol (1928-87) was one of the first artists to appropriate imagery from advertising and other expressions of consumer culture. His portraits of post-war celebrities from politics and showbiz, such as Mao-Tse Tung and Marilyn Monroe have attained iconic status.

This hugely anticipated show is Scotland’s first exhibition devoted to Warhol’s self-portraits and his celebrity.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art,
75 Belford Road,
Edinburgh, EH4 3DR
Tel: +44 (0)131 624 6200

Simon Patterson 5th March – 8th May 2005
Exhibition of newly commissioned work by London-based Patterson, including his major work:
General Assembly 1994
The Fruitmarket Gallery,
45 Market Street,
Edinburgh, EH1 1DF
Tel: + 44 (0)131 225 2383

Highland Artists 4th – 26th March 2005
An exhibition of landscape paintings in oils by Clare Blois, Isabel Dickson, Suzanne Gyseman, Elizabeth Juss and Margaret McKay.
Castle Gallery,
43 Castle Street,
Inverness, IV2 3DU
Tel: +44 (0)1463 729 512

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