The Late Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson: Collector & Patron

The Late Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson: Collector & Patron

Highlights from the Estate

This season, we are delighted to present a selection of highlights from the estate of the late Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson. From paintings and antiquarian books to silver and works of art, Dr Cargill Thompson’s collecting and patronage was rooted in family tradition. Leading the group of highlights is John William Godward's beautifully poised Girl on a Marble Ledge.

 

John William Godward - Girl on a Marble Ledge
JOHN WILLIAM GODWARD (BRITISH 1861-1922) | GIRL ON A MARBLE LEDGE
Signed and dated lower right J. W. Godward 98, oil on canvas
76.2 x 63.5 cm (30in x 25in) | 
£100,000-150,000 + fees
To be offered in Five Centuries | 19 May 2021 | Edinburgh | Live Online

 

John William Godward’s Girl on a Marble Ledge

John William Godward’s approach has been referred to as that of a High Victorian Dreamer. A loyal follower of Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema and similarly inspired by classical civilization, particularly Ancient Rome, his works depict elegant women in classical dress, lounging against architectural features. His paintings are characterised by exquisite and meticulous detail. Godward carefully researched architecture and dress to make sure every detail in his painting was right.

We are delighted to present this beautifully composed work in our forthcoming Five Centuries auction taking place on 19-20 May 2021. It leads the selection of fine paintings collected by the late Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson featuring in our Spring and Summer series of auctions.

 



Collector & Patron | The Late Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson

 

Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson (1933-2020) has been recognised for her contribution to both librarianship and the art world. Born in Burma in 1933, on the outbreak of World War II she returned to live in the West End of Glasgow aged 6, along with her parents and two brothers, and her love of art developed in the city’s Kelvingrove Galleries. Dr Cargill Thompson was educated at Cheltenham Ladies College and then read Physiology and Pharmacology at St Andrews University. She then went on to do a PhD at Edinburgh University which was research into the contraceptive pill. In 1970, Dr Cargill Thompson began work at the Andersonian Library at Strathclyde University, being appointed as the head of the library’s new Reference and Information Division in 1982. Close to retirement in 1999, she was awarded the Princess Royal Medal for services to the discipline.

Dr Cargill Thompson’s collecting and patronage was the family tradition A well kent character in the West of Scotland, especially at exhibition opening and private views she lived frugally using public transport around the city and never viewed her passion for collecting art as a monetary investment. Dr Cargill Thompson was a truly public spirited Glaswegian, throughout her time at Strathclyde University she supported the Collins Gallery (closed 2013) and in 1999 she gifted her collection of contemporary art to the University and a portion of her Contemporary Silver collection to The Glasgow School of Art, of which the remainder has now been bequeathed.

The Cargill family history dates back to the 19th century. Her Great Grand Uncle David Syme Cargill (1826-1904) founded The Burma Oil Company in 1876 and the family held interests in the East India Trading Co. In the early 20th century two of his five children made a conscious effort to collect French Paintings, including works by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. The collections of David W T Cargill (1872-1939) and his brother William Cargill (d.1962) were renowned and three Impressionist paintings from William’s collection are now on display in Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery: a Corot, a Courbet and a Seurat. David’s collection was sold and proceeds were used to form The Cargill Fund.

Dr Cargill Thompson leaves her end of terrace home in the West End of Glasgow to the National Trust for Scotland. Largely untouched since it was designed and built in the Scots Renaissance style in c. 1906 by John Archibald Campbell the interior boasts the original Edwardian fixtures and fittings. The Dining Room walls are covered in crocodile skin wallpaper and panelled in Austrian oak that came from the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901.

We are delighted to continue offering a selection of items from Dr Cargill Thompson’s collections of which the proceeds will form an Education Endowment Trust in Dr Cargill Thompson’s name.

 



Looking Back, Dreaming Forward | Highlights from the Collection

 

AVRIL PATON (SCOTTISH B.1941) ATHOLL GARDENS - 1994
§ AVRIL PATON (SCOTTISH B.1941) | ATHOLL GARDENS - 1994 | Sold for £6,250 incl premium

 

The first auctions of the season to include works from Dr Helen Cargill Thompson’s collection included our February 2021 auction of Rare Books, Manuscripts, Maps & Photographs and our March 2021 Jewellery, Watches & Silver and Paintings & Works on Paper sales. Results include hand-coloured lithographs of the Birman Empire by Joseph Moore selling for £6,000*, Avril Paton's Atholl Gardens - 1994 achieving £6,250* and a large collection of coins seeing £2,375*.

LANG'S 'FAIRY BOOKS'
LANG, ANDREW & LEONORA BLANCHE ALLEYNE LANG | A COMPLETE COLLECTION OF LANG'S 'FAIRY BOOKS' | Sold for £2,250*

 

 

This April, works from Kenny Hunter and Neil MacPherson will feature in our Contemporary & Post-War Art auction. Study for 'The Apostle of the North', 1992 features the superb use of colour for which MacPherson is known and was exhibited in 1992 at the Compass Gallery in Glasgow during their Christmas Exhibition. Kenny Hunter's Monument to a Mouse, 2012 is an editioned model of an original bronze sculpture, located at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Ayrshire, which references the famous Burns poem To a Mouse.

 

KENNY HUNTER, MONUMENT TO A MOUSE, 2012 

LOT 134 | § KENNY HUNTER (BRITISH 1962-) | MONUMENT TO A MOUSE, 2012
Signed with initials, dated and numbered 3/15 in pen to underside of base, acrylic resin
32cm x 24cm x 24cm (12.5in x 9.5in x 9.5in) £400 - £600 + fees
To be sold Contemporary & Post-War Art | Prints & Multiples | 7th April 2021 | Live Online 

 

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim’rous beastie,
O, what a panic’s in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi’ bickerin brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an’ chase thee
Wi’ murd’ring pattle!

- Robert Burns

 

View Lot 134 ⇒

 

 

Our Spring edition of Design since 1860, taking place live online in late April 2021, will also feature charming bronzes by Shona Kinloch such as Dandelion Squirrel alongside pieces by John Moncrieff, David Meredith and more.

 

 

SHONA KINLOCH 

LOT 591 | SHONA KINLOCH (BORN 1962) | DANDELION SQUIRREL
bronze | 54cm high | £800 - £1,200 + fees
To be offered Design Since 1860 | Wednesday, 21st & Thursday, 22nd April | Live Online

 

View Lot 591 ⇒ 

 

We are proud to present this wonderfully diverse group of highlights throughout this season of auctions from Dr Helen E C Cargill Thompson’s collection of paintings, antiquarian books, silver and works of art including Inuit works which were collected annually at Glasgow Art Fair in George Square.

 

*All sold prices include premium

 

Forthcoming Auctions

 

CONTEMPORARY & POST-WAR ART | PRINTS & MULTIPLES

Lot: 1 to 134 - Wednesday, 7th April 2021 10:00

Lot: 135 to 227 - Wednesday, 7th April 2021 14:00

Live Online

 

View the auction ⇒

 

DESIGN SINCE 1860

Lot: 1 to 278 - Wednesday, 21st April 2021 10:00

Lot: 279 to 596 - Thursday, 22nd April 2021 10:00

Live Online

 

View the auction ⇒

 

FIVE CENTURIES: FURNITURE, PAINTINGS & WORKS OF ART

Wednesday, 19th May 2021 10:00

Edinburgh | Live Online

  

 

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