THE STAR lot in Lyon & Turnbull’s art sale in the capital on Thursday is (for me, anyway) John Duncan Fergusson’s Seated Nude, a small bronze sculpture depicting a woman almost as if she were in a trance, seated with her head facing intently forwards.
Angus Council was rightly cock-a-hoop at the discovery near Carnoustie of a Bronze Age spearhead with a gold socket at the end of its shaft. The weapon is one of only five gold-bound spears to have been found in Britain and Ireland.
NEW YEAR used to mean a drinks cabinet bulging with Perth’s finest – and in my younger days, this did not mean craft beers and pink gin.
“Show me another” is a well-trodden phrase in the antiques world when a spectacular or uncommonly rare item appears for sale. It’s a saying that adds value normally, but not in every case.
Tea was once a luxury. Its price, heavily taxed, placed it beyond all but the well-to-do. The Female Spectator in 1745 declared that the tea table “costs more to support than would maintain two children and a nurse.”
ILLUSTRATED IS Woman by a Leaded Window. It was painted in 1958 by Glasgow School of Art-trained Robert Colquhoun. Oil on canvas, it is a couple of feet square and was presented to Dundee not long after its paint had dried.
ON WEDNESDAY, Edinburgh auctioneers Lyon & Turnbull will sell an early 19th Century mahogany stick barometer by J. Della Torre of Perth. It carries tempting pre-sale hopes of £300-£500.
THE LAST naturally occurring case of smallpox was diagnosed in 1977 and the World Health Organisation certified the global eradication of the disease in 1980.
I welcome Rosebery’s Auctions of London to this column for the first time, as I have dipped into their summer antiques sale for a little item which I cannot recall seeing previously.
Book Week Scotland, the great annual celebration of reading, continues across the country today and tomorrow.