Another Bolton deaccessioning sale falters?

September 1 2011

Image of Another Bolton deaccessioning sale falters?

Picture: Bonhams

Last night, another of Bolton Council's 35 deaccessioned paintings went up for sale at Bonhams in Edinburgh. Sea Gulls and Sapphire Seas by Robert Gemmell Hutchison was estimated at £120-£180,000 - but sold for £120,000 including buyer's premium. This means that the bidding fell some way short of the lower estimate. The same thing happened with Bolton's Somnambulist by Millais earlier in the summer, also at Bonhams.

Was the estimate too high? Was it the right sale? An August general sale in Scotland is perhaps not the best time for a museum to be selling a highly prized picture. It seems quite a few pictures failed to sell. Still, the price was the second highest achieved at auction for a work by the artist. 

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