Lost Fergusson painting sets $996,699 record at Christie's

John Duncan Fergusson's Poise has set a world record for the artist at Christie's London, soaring past its estimate in the Modern British and Irish Art Evening Sale, held on November 19.

Fergusson Poise
The work was the highest valued piece in an exhibition in 1918, and hasn't been seen since

The work was previously thought lost, having not been seen since its first exhibition in London in 1918. It was later rediscovered by a couple of siblings in the loft of their family's home in Giverny, France - the famous village that was home to Monet and a number of artists of the period.

The 1916 oil on canvas was estimated to make between £80,000 and £120,000, but competition in the saleroom pushed the final bid to £638,500 ($996,699).

Fergusson was one of the leading artists of the Scottish Colourists. He painted the present work following a stint in Paris where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Picasso and Matisse - Poise is obviously influenced by Matisse's portraits.

The Scottish colourists proved popular in the sale, with a Samuel Peploe still life of roses and fruit selling just above Fergusson's work at £662,500 ($1m).

Also starring was a Dame Barbara Hepworth sculpture entitled Figure (Sunion), which made £1.1m ($1.7m), far above its £800,000 high estimate.

Hepworth is one of the most beloved British sculptors, and her work regularly sees top bids at auction. At Bonhams on November 17, another of her pieces made £541,000 ($848,758).

The record for her art was set at Christie's London last yet, when Figure in a Landscape made £4.1m ($7m).

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