A range of local, national and international charities supported by students at the University of St Andrews are set to benefit from the sale of a rare sketch by Fife artist Jack Vettriano.
The retrospective sketch of The Singing Butler – Vettriano’s most iconic painting – was sold to a private UK buyer for £32,000 at the Sotheby’s sale at Gleneagles this week. The addition of a buyer’s premium by Sotheby’s took the total sale price to £39,650, although the University of St Andrews Student Charities Campaign which put the work up for auction will receive the hammer price of £32,000.
The sketch, completed by Vettriano during a short master class he gave to St Andrews students in 2003, had previously been valued at £20,000. The artist and the University Principal Dr Brian Lang agreed the work should be gifted to the student charity effort which last year raised a record £160,000.
Nervous student representatives watched from the wings as the bidding began at Gleneagles on Tuesday night.
“There was a real sense of anticipation in the room when the bidding opened – no-one was quite sure if we were about to discover that the credit crunch had hit the art market,” said a University spokesman. “As the bids rose our smiles got broader and we were absolutely delighted when the auctioneer finally brought his hammer down at £32,000.
“It’s a fantastic boost for a Student Charities Campaign which has already proved to be one of the most active in Scotland. We are very grateful to Jack for the support he has given students and student charities in St Andrews over many years.”
Charities which will benefit from the sale include Unicef, Breast Cancer Campaign, Refuge, Joy to the World, Chest Heart and Stroke Association and Alzheimer’s Scotland.