Saturday, 17th February 2018
news:We are currently inviting suitable entries for both Antique & General Sales, please contact Nick Burns for further information.

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Herbert Gurschner Austrian 1901-1975 Old Mentone acrylic on board sold for 2100


Herbert Gurschner (Austrian 1901-1975) Old Mentone, acrylic on board, sold for £2,100

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£15,000 auction surprise for owner whose painting found in the attic had been dismissed as average (August 2015)


A painting discovered in a Perthshire attic and which had been dismissed as being of little value has sold for almost £15,000.

The owner had taken it to one Scottish auction house which declined to sell it as they believed it was worth less than £500, their lot threshold value. He decided to show it to auctioneer Nick Burns of Lindsay Burns and Co in Perth, who immediately recognised it had potential.

“It was brought in with some other items to a valuation day and as soon as I saw it I thought there was something about it,” said Mr Burns.

“Straight away I thought there would be interest and my instinct was that in the right type of sale it could do quite well.”

Once the portrait of a gentleman drinking from a glass by candlelight was photographed for the catalogue and the King Street saleroom’s online platform, Mr Burns realised his initial feelings had been right.

On the day there were nine telephone bidders vying for the picture and numerous commission bids that had been left as well as people using the live internet bidding and in the room, with the picture eventually selling to a private buyer in England.

“Bids came in from everywhere,” said Mr Burns.

“When I phoned the owner and told him he was absolutely delighted.”

Among those at the viewing of the sale was Bendor Grosvener, art expert on BBC 1’s Fake or Fortune, who has been involved in identifying previously unattributed paintings that can significantly boost the value.

The picture was discovered in the attic of a Perthshire house bought in the 1970s.

It was then acquired by a family member of the house owner, the man who put it up for sale.

It was in quite bad condition when found and had been restored some years ago.

Mr Burns, who studied fine art valuation at university, said the technique of painting – chiaroscuro or light on dark – was skilful and one train of thought was that this painting was the work of a royal court painter called Philippe Mercier (1687-1760).

He said the fact the picture had been rejected by one auction house but subsequently achieved a good price showed that local expertise within provincial auction houses can compete on all levels in the international marketplace.

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