Scottish Success

23rd May 2021

A painting depicting life in rural East Lothian, by Scottish artist William Marshall Brown, has sold for £21,250 at auction – more than three times its top estimated value of £6,000.

Gathering Wild Roses (lot 84) was one of four paintings by Brown which went under the hammer at a 2-day Modern British & 20th Century Art auction held at the prestigious Woolley & Wallis Salerooms in Salisbury.

Born in Edinburgh in 1863, Brown was drawn to the coast and landscape of East Lothian and its inhabitants and these feature in many of his best known works which characterise life at the time.

The works which sold at the auction have been held in a private collection, passed down by family descent, since they were bought from Glasgow framer and restorer DC Thomson in 1919. This was the first time they had been sold on the open market for more than 100 years.

A number of Brown’s paintings are also held by East Lothian Council.

Brown died in Edinburgh in 1863, having worked in London, the Netherlands and France as well as across Scotland. Much of his best work was completed at his studio at Cockburnspath in the Scottish Borders.

A second Scottish painting, Daisy Field (lot 94), by Glasgow-born artist William Page Atkinson Wells (1872-1923) also realised well above its estimated top value of £5000 when it sold for £13,750. Wells studied at the Slade School of Art in London before moving to Sydney where he lived for five years. After a spell in France, he returned to Glasgow, before living and working in England until his death.

Some of his work hangs in Paisley Museum & Art Gallery.

The first paintings auction held at Woolley & Wallis for more than 10 months, due to lockdown restrictions, included 57 works by Scottish artists including Craigie Aitchison, John Bellany, William Pratt and Sir David Young Cameron.

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