Home 5 News 5 Angus’ Highlights | June 2024

Angus’ Highlights | June 2024

June 17, 2024
ALGERNON CECIL NEWTON, RA, British (1880-1968), “Mountain Country”, oil on canvasboard

Our second Fine Art and Collectors auction of the year is filled with temptation and interest. As well as offering fine Modern British and Old Master paintings, we also have contemporary works by renowned artist in wood Tim Stead as well as fine silver, jewellery and whisky. For the photographers, Browns has a large collection of vintage and rare cameras, including Leica and Mamiya.

Top billing this month goes to a wonderful Modern British oil painting discovered in a local house by our valuer on a routine house visit. Titled ‘Mountain Country’, it is a compact restful piece by Algernon Newton, RA. He is well known for his exceptional landscapes, often devoid of figures, but exuding calm and rest. Newton lived near to Harold and Laura Knight and Sir Alfred Munnings for several years in Cornwall. However in the 1930’s his works were enormously sought after and he regularly exhibited in Paris alongside Chagall, Braque and even Picasso. This piece appears to show a sunlit mountain cabin somewhere in Italy. The family believe it was bought by their father to remember his time as a prisoner in Italy, having been captured during the Siege of Tobruk in North Africa. In any event it is a rare find and I hope will attract collectors of Newton’s charming paintings.

Another discovery, this time from the Grand Tour…no, not the TV show with Clarkson et al…but from the early 19th century, when fashionable nobles and wealthy travellers visited Italy and in particular Pompeii and Herculaneum, recently discovered and excavated. It was fashionable at the time to return home with a keepsake and Michelangelo Maestri took advantage of this opportunity by creating copies of the recently discovered frescoes, or of famous works by the likes of Raphael. We can offer a lovely pair of allegorical paintings by Maestri, each depicting a God & Goddess representing Wisdom, Knowledge, Peace & War. With perhaps some re-framing the impact of these extraordinary pieces would be fabulous on any wall.

My personal favourite in this diverse auction is a wonderful clock designed and build by Tim Stead and his friend clockmaker Jürgan Tübbecke. Made about 2000, this splendid wall mounted timepiece will make an amazing statement in a stairwell or high walled hall. The clock face itself is strangely suspended from the swaying pendulum, with the revealed brass mechanism high above. The clock weight is hangs from a long cable and I imagine that the duration of the clock can be adjusted depending on how you place it. The pair also designed the huge and impressive ‘Millennium Clock’ which can be found in the National Museum of Edinburgh. Tim recently sadly passed, and his workshop and home has been acquired and opened as a museum near Galashiels. The clock was carefully removed from a wall in the Scottish Borders, where I saw it working in situ.

As usual we have a diverse mix of selected silver, jewellery, ceramics and furniture. This includes an unusual Chinese bronze Hu vase, based on ancient Shang designs, it was likely made in the Qing Dynasty. The elephant handles with long trunks are great fun.

As well as a tasty group of Scotch Malt Whisky, we also have several cases of vintage port, including from 1963, one of the top years of the 20th century….very much ready to drink now!

It is well worth a look through the whole catalogue this month. It’s full of interesting surprises and pretty things. Do of course contact our valuation team to discuss any of the lots. We can always provide a condition report and opinion on necessary restoration or provide provenance wherever possible. Do let us know if you have collections, or individual items you would like us to consider for the next Fine Art sale or indeed our monthly Antiques and General furnishings auction.

The Auction starts at 10am at our saleroom and online at brownsasr.co.uk.  Telephone and commission bids are accepted by emailing info@brownsasr.co.uk.

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