There are two compelling reasons to be in Scotland this month: The Phillips, de Pury and Luxembourg auction house is holding its second annual Scottish sale after a smashing success last year, and the acclaimed deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid has designed a futuristic backdrop for the Belgian dance company Charleroi/Danses-Plan K’s featured performance at the Edinburgh International Festival.
The Phillips auction on August 24 and 25 takes place during the Edinburgh festival, which runs August 12 to September 1.
Phillips, the 205-year-old auction house which recently has begun an aggressive campaign to compete with Sotheby’s and Christies, is offering a number of Scottish paintings of landscapes, people and still lifes ranging in style from abstracted designs to realist works. Alexander Johnston’s 19th-century painting The Cotter’s Saturday Night, which was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London in 1863, is a sale highlight, estimated at £20,000 to £30,000.
Painted almost 100 years later in a slightly impressionistic style, November Afternoon, Carse of Gowrie and The Road to Carmichael’s Farm, near Longforgan are works by James McIntosh Patrick, one of the well-known members of the Glasgow School. Their estimates range to £20,000. Scottish colorists also feature heavily in the sale, with Samuel J. Peploe’s 1911 Still Life of Mixed Flowers commanding an estimate of £50,000 to £70,000.
A highlight in the silver section of the sale is a rare set of forks expected to fetch £10,000 to £15,000. Made in Wick in the early 19th century, each fork has the crest of a seated cat with the motto SANS PEUR inscribed above. There is a variety of furniture, including tall case clocks and locally made pieces, such as a late George III mahogany Edinburgh bookcase with gothic glazed doors (estimate £5,000 to £7,000).
The Phillips sale coincides with the Edinburgh International Festival, which brings together the world’s greatest performing artists for three weeks of opera, theater, dance and music. Award-winning architect Zaha Hadid, who has designed a wide array of structures and installations, from the infamous Vitra Fire Station in Germany to the Mind Zone at the Millennium Dome in London, has collaborated with choreographer Frédéric Flamand to create a stunning visualization of a utopian city for the Charleroi dance company’s performance of Metapolis.