Lost Masterpiece Discovered In French Attic At Christie’s Auction

John Duncan Fergusson

Two works by the artist John Duncan Fergusson were recently rediscovered in France by a brother and sister while they were sorting through the contents of a family attic of their home in Giverny. The duo’s grandparents lived in the area at the turn of the 20th century, at the same time as it was home to a community of painters, most notably Claude Monet, with whom the grandparents were actually acquainted.

Now one of the paintings by John Duncan Fergusson, an artist considered the most experimental of the Scottish colourists, will be one of the highlights at Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale on November 19th.

The Fergusson portrait ‘Poise’, a 1916 that has not been publicly exhibited since the artist’s 1918 exhibition at Connell Gallery, where it was the artist’s most highly-priced work – will lead the sale at Christie’s – and is expected to sell for £80,000 to £120,000.

Fergusson’s ‘Anne Estelle Rice, washing’ to be auctioned in the subsequent day sale on November 20, carries a pre-sale estimate of £40,000 to £60,000. The work features American illustrator-turned-painter Anne Estelle Rice, who was romantically involved with Fergusson between 1906 and 1913, and was the painter’s muse.

The work is not the first lost Fergusson artwork to make auction headlines this year. Edinburgh auctioneers, Lyon & Turnbull offered a rare Fergusson statue, ‘Eastre, Hymn to the Sun’, that the artist had stashed it under his bed for years due to not being able to pay for its casting – and went up for sale in May.

The upcoming Christie’s auction will also feature six L.S. Lowry paintings,including his ‘Coal Barge’, which could fetch £700,000 to £1,000,000 and Euan Uglow’s work ‘Three In One’, estimated at £500,000 to £800,000.


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