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Record-breaking sale of McClure painting sets the pace at Cuttlestones’ Fine Art Sale

The £8,000 sale of a substantial oil on canvas by 20th Century Scottish artist David McClure on Friday, 28th May represented one of the highest price paid for a piece of this style by the Renfrewshire born artist to date. Entitled ‘Nude Girl with Death’s Head’ the 102cm x 127cm canvas, which had been in private hands since the vendor purchased it at an Edinburgh exhibition in 1971, achieved the mid-estimate price at Staffordshire auction house Cuttlestones’ latest Fine Art sale.

This was just one highlight of what proved to be a very exciting sale during which a diverse range of performed exceptionally well. A number of the star lots had local resonance, including a large 18CT gold pocket watch marked for H.Piddock & Sons, Hanley. Dated 1891, an internal inscription states ‘From the Chatterley Iron Company Ltd’; estimated at £200-£300 the timepiece achieved an impressive £900.

Also benefiting from local connections were a number of pottery items that fetched great prices - despite carrying some damage. A pair of traditional Staffordshire flatback figures, modelled as standing spaniels holding fruit baskets in their mouths and carrying maidens on their backs, sold for £600. A 41cm cobalt blue Coalport twin handled urn and cover, carrying a gilt scroll cartouche and central pane painted with fruit, signed ‘F.H. Chivers’ fetched £980. A large Royal Doulton Lambeth Jardiniere and stand in a green and brown majolica glaze completed the pottery star lots, achieving a hammer price of £800.

The biggest ‘sleeper’ of the sale was another oil on canvas; this time a Continental school depiction of three gentlemen seated at a table measuring 64cm x 80cm. Carrying an indistinct signature, the piece was estimated to achieve between £60 - £100 but went on to sell for an impressive for £1000.

And it wasn’t just art, pottery and watches that sold well – all sections performed well. In the miscellaneous section, a 19th Century sailor’s shell valentine of West Indian origin sold for £1,100. The furniture section, meanwhile, saw a superb Regency rosewood and coromandel wood cross banded sofa table sell, at the top end of its estimate, for £1,500. Meanwhile, in the strong silver section, an attractive Arts & Crafts silver inkwell, hallmarked for Birmingham 1909 and engraved on the lid with the date 22nd October 1913 and to the base with the words ‘Bristol Goldsmiths Alliance 140’ sold for £210.

These outstanding results are testament to the ongoing growth of the Staffordshire saleroom and its emphasis on using the internet to reach as broad an audience as possible, as MD and Head Auctioneer, Ben Gamble, explains:

We’ve enjoyed another Fine Art sale with cracking results – and once again we’ve seen a great mix of bidders, including those in the room, leaving commission bids and bidding live yet remotely either by telephone or live internet bidding. The investment really is paying off!

We’re especially delighted to see items with local provenance selling so well in this sale – with the Potteries just up the road there must be hundreds of homes with interesting pieces of pottery languishing in attics or at the back of cupboards when they could unlock capital for their owners to use toward a holiday or home improvements - and go to a home where they’ll really be appreciated. We’re already taking commissions for our next Fine Art sale, which will take place on 10th September 2010, and would urge people to contact us for a free valuation – you never know what you may have hiding away!

For a full report on the Cuttlestones May Fine Art auction and further details on valuations and how to sell at auction visit www.cuttlestones.co.uk – alternatively call 01785 714905 to book a valuation appointment.