Executors were having difficulty raising interest from auction firms local to the Hampshire based estate, as they firstly needed help with a probate valuation. One administrator, a customer of ours for many years, called our picture department for help and advice. The rest as they say...is company history. Our valuer, John Anderson, jumped into the car and headed south to the New Forest, to value, what proved to be, one of the most exciting collections handled by the firm in recent years.
The majority of the 200 piece collection centered around the Outerside Art group and The Gugging Institute. It focused on artists who underwent psychiatric therapy at the Maria Gugging clinic near Vienna. It was so specialist, that local interest was muted. However, we heavily marketed the collection online and used targeted marketing to dealers, collectors and Museums throughout the world. On sale day, barely fifteen people turned up to bid in the room, however, there were hundreds of bidders watching the sale online and many more booked for telephone bids from across Europe, South America and The US. Consequently, we achieved some record prices. The most prized piece was ‘Raven Food’, a drawing by Louis Soutter, whose eccentric behaviour landed him in an asylum in Switzerland. It sold well above the £3,000 estimate for £54,600.
Louis Soutter ''Raven Food'' (image front and back)
David Bowie was also a great lover and collector of this type of art, using it as inspiration for his 'Outsider' Album. After his death, his collection was sold by Sotheby's, who broke many auction records. Many of these were surpassed by items in the Heppe collection, just a year later.
Johann Fischer ''Der Josef Zornleib''
Below are a selection of the highlighted items or click here for the full auction results.
From a collection of bronzes by Per Kirkeby
Sold for £185,700 (8 lots)
Walter Navratil ''Evidenz''
Oswald Tschirtner ''Fünf Menschen''
Nic Fiddian-Green ''Into the Wind''