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10,000 - 15,000 GBP
20 %
3 %
Live auction
Lot closed
Lot location
Edinburgh, Scotland
•James Miller R.S.A. R.S.W. (Scottish, 1893-1987), Self-Portrait, signed lower left, oil on canvas, framed. 125cm by 70cm Provenance: purchased directly from the artist by the vendor. Exhibited: Glasgow Art Club 1940. Literature: Lesley Duncan "James Miller R.S.A.", pub. Royal Scottish Academy 1990. Note: Miller was born in Duke Street in the heart of industrial Glasgow. After World War I, as a young man, he became a founder member of a group of impatient young talents, The Glasgow Society of Painters and Sculptors. This was a breakaway group from the established Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts whose leading lights included Benno Schotz, Robert Sivell and James Cowie. Miller taught art at Hillhead High School in Glasgow becoming head of the Art department between 1936 and 1947. He moved to the Isle of Skye in later life and remained there until his death in 1987. He is best known for his vivid impressionistic topographical watercolours. Throughout a large part of the 20th century Miller completed his own Grand Tour falling in love with the architectural heritage and cityscapes of Spain, Italy, France and, latterly, Croatia. He completed his watercolours in the open air and these works, of which there are many examples in this sale, achieve a vibrancy and atmosphere that could only be bettered by standing there oneself. The subject lot is described by Lesley Duncan (see Literature above) as "a self-portrait, first exhibited at Glasgow Art Club in 1940....shows Miller in young middle age with flamboyant high brimmed hat and long white coat, its folds skilfully rendered. Behind the round spectacles his eyes look intently at his easel rather than the viewer. A light source illuminates the right hand side of his face and neck, highlighting the solemn, rather monkeyish features. He was not concerned with self-flattery. The wide-spread feet, however, and the figure's whole mien speak of confidence in his own presence and talents...". Artist's Resale Right will apply.
Fine Paintings and Works of Art
Venue address
15-17 Jane Street
Edinburgh, Scotland
United Kingdom
Fine Paintings and Works of Art

Auction dates
May 06, 2017 11:00 AM BST
Viewing dates
May 03, 2017 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM BST
May 04, 2017 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM BST
May 05, 2017 09:30 AM - 05:00 PM BST
Auction currency
Buyer's premium
20 %
Online commission
3 %

Please note that Ramsay Cornish do not offer a posting and packing service.  Edinburgh Mailboxes can be contacted for smaller items on 0131 652 3672, email  We recommend the South Bridge branch.  Or contact Pack & Send 0131 201 2244

1. Definitions In these Conditions, Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers and Valuers act only as the auctioneers and agents for the Vendor and are here referred to as “Ramsay Cornish” or “the auctioneer”. Any such reference shall include all employees and shall refer to either gender. The clause headings are for guidance and do not form part of the interpretation of the Conditions.
2. General. Whilst Ramsay Cornish make every effort to ensure the accuracy of their catalogues and the description of any lot, Ramsay Cornish do not accept responsibility for the authenticity, attribution, genuineness, origin, authorship, date, age, period, condition or quality of any lot unless they have been instructed in writing by the seller to so certify and in such case, the auctioneers do so as agents of the seller and are not themselves responsible for such claims.
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All conditions, notices, descriptions, statements and other matters in the catalogue and elsewhere concerning any lot are subject to any statements modifying or affecting the same made by the Auctioneer from the rostrum prior to any bid being accepted for the lot.
Any claim under Statute must be received in writing by the Auctioneers within 48 hours of receipt of the item by the buyer.
5. The Auction. The Auctioneer has absolute discretion to divide any lot, to combine any two or more lots or withdraw any lot or lots from the sale, to refuse bids, regulate bidding or cancel the sale without in any case giving any reason or without previous notice. He may bid on behalf of the seller for all goods which are being offered subject to reserve or at the Auctioneer’s discretion. All persons intending to bid at auction are required to provide their full name, address and telephone number plus any further information which may be required such as proof of identity, bank references etc. and any other security and credit references or arrangements before registering to bid.
The highest bidder shall be the buyer except in the case of a dispute. The Auctioneer may at his sole discretion determine the advance of the bidding or refuse a bid. If, during the auction, the Auctioneer considers that a dispute has arisen, he has absolute discretion to settle it or to re-offer the lot. Bids which are accepted by the Auctioneer are considered binding.
© Online Bidding. We will use all reasonable efforts to carry out online bids and do not accept any liability for equipment failure, inability to access the internet or software malfunctions related to execution of online bids/live bidding.
Each lot is put up for sale subject to any reserve price agreed by the auctioneer and the seller. Where no reserve has been placed (but not otherwise), the seller has the right to bid either personally or by any one person on his behalf (who may be the Auctioneer).
6. Recission. Notwithstanding any other terms of these Conditions, if within 48 hours of receipt of the item by the buyer Ramsay Cornish has received from the buyer of any lot notice in writing that in his view the lot is a deliberate forgery and within seven days after such a notification the buyer returns the same to Ramsay Cornish in the same condition as at the time of sale, and by producing evidence, the burden of proof to be on the buyer, satisfies Ramsay Cornish that considered in the light of the entry in the catalogue, the lot is a deliberate forgery, then the sale of the lot will be rescinded and the purchase price of the same refunded. The seller and the buyer agree to be bound by Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers and Valuers. All costs incurred in returning a lot and arrangements to do so are to be borne entirely by the buyer.
7. Third Party Liability. Every person on Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers and Valuers premises at any time shall be deemed to be there at their own risk. He shall have no claim against Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers and Valuers in respect of any accident which may occur or injury, damage or loss howsoever caused, save in so far as the injury, damage or loss shall be caused by the direct negligence of Ramsay Cornish’s employees.
8. Property and Risk. The legal title in a lot shall not pass to the buyer until the lot(s) has been paid for in full and the Auctioneers shall be entitled to a lien on any lot sold until the purchase price (as defined in 12 below) is paid in full but each lot is at the sole risk of the buyer from the fall of the hammer. Each buyer shall forthwith give his full names and permanent address and if called upon to do so by the Auctioneer shall forthwith pay Ramsay Cornish such proportion of the purchase price as the Auctioneer may require. If the buyer fails to do so, the lot may, at the Auctioneers sole discretion, be put up again and re-sold.

9. Every bidder will be deemed to act as a principal unless there is in force a written acknowledgement accepted by Ramsay Cornish that he acts as agent on behalf of a named principal.
Ramsay Cornish may require bidders to complete a pre-registration form for high value lots, this can be obtained by contacting our office.
10. Removal of goods. No purchase shall be claimed or removed until the sale has been concluded. All lots shall be paid for and removed immediately following the sale. The lots, immediately on being sold, are held as delivered, and remain at buyer’s risk, no transfer of purchasers’ names being allowed. Lots not so removed shall remain at the risk of the buyer and subject to a warehousing charge. If they are not paid for and removed within seven days of the sale the Auctioneer may re-sell them by auction or privately without notice to the buyer. All liability which there may be on the part of the Auctioneer in respect of any loss shall be restricted to a maximum of the price paid by the buyer of the lot.
11. In the event of any failure of the buyer to comply with any of the above conditions the damages recoverable by the seller or the Auctioneers from the defaulter shall include any loss arising from the re-sale of the lots, together with the charges and expenses in respect of both sales and together with interest at 15% above the Bank of Scotland base rate charged on a monthly basis upon the price of any lot which has not been paid for within forty-eight hours of the sale, and any money deposited in part payment shall be held by the Auctioneers on account of any liability of the defaulter to them or to the seller.
12. Purchase Price. The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium of 20% on the hammer price, Vat will be charged on this premium. The premium at the appropriate rate is payable by all purchasers. The amount invoiced in respect of the premium will be inclusive of VAT but this VAT will not normally be recoverable by the buyer. Online bidding is subject to an additional 3% premium (charged by the live bidding service provider This additional premium is subject to Vat at the current rate. The vendor authorises the Auctioneers to deduct commission and expenses at the stated rates from the hammer price and acknowledges the Auctioneer’s right to retain the premium payable by the purchaser.
Artist Resale Rights may be chargeable, please see The Design and Artists Copyright Society website.
13. Methods of Payment. All accounts to be settled by cash or cheques with appropriate guarantee cards or by direct bank transfer to the Ramsay Cornish bank account – please ask for details. All lots must be paid for within five working days of the auction. Third party cheques cannot be accepted. All lots paid for by Online bidding must be settled by bank transfer to our bank account no later than five days after the sale. Ramsay Cornish reserve the right to wait until payment by cheque has cleared their bank prior to releasing goods to the buyer. Unpaid accounts will accrue interest charged monthly at 15% over the Bank of Scotland interest rate. We reserve the right to charge a fee of a minimum of £50 for all and any administrative and legal costs in respect of any unpaid bills, these will be added to the original unpaid bill and shall accrue interest at the same rate. Ramsay Cornish reserves the right to retain any sums due to any vendor if same vendor has an outstanding account due to Ramsay Cornish as a buyer. Ramsay Cornish would then ‘contra’ the amount due and pay to the vendor any balance remaining.

14. Commission to Bid. Ramsay Cornish will execute bids on behalf of intending buyers unable to attend the sale at no charge. Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers and Valuers undertake to purchase lots as cheaply as allowed by other bids and reserves. Bids must be submitted in writing and whilst every care is taken in carrying out instructions, Ramsay Cornish cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions made in carrying out such bids.
15. Lots on which Value Added Tax is payable on or included in the hammer price are indicated in the catalogue or description sheet with a sign (this will usually be an asterix). VAT is payable on or included in the hammer price of such lots at the rates prevailing on the day of the auction.
16. Export of goods: buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether any export licence is required and whether there is any prohibition on importing goods of that character. It is the buyer’s sole responsibility to obtain any relevant export or import licence. The denial of any licence or any delay in obtaining licences shall neither justify the recession of any sale nor any delay in making full payment for the lot.
17. Shipping/delivery: the buyer shall take full responsibility for arrangements for delivery of any lot purchased and all costs incurred. Packing will be the responsibility of the buyer to organise with their agent and will not be undertaken by Ramsay Cornish. We can recommend Mailboxes or Pack and Send for smaller items or TNT for larger items, please contact us for details. We can also recommend carriers who can transport by van within the UK. No lot may be removed from the saleroom until payment has been received in full.
18. Electrical and Mechanical Goods. Lots that were once operated by electricity are bought entirely at the buyer’s risk. They are offered for sale for display or historical purposes and may not comply with current regulations. Upholstered items are sold as ‘works of art’ only and if bought for use must be checked over for compliance with safety regulations (items manufactured prior to 1950 are exempt from any regulations. Use of such goods is entirely at the risk of the buyer and no warranties as to the safety of the goods are given.
19. Jurisdiction. These conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Scots Law. All transactions to which these Conditions apply and all matters connected therewith shall also be governed by Scots Law. Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers hereby submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts and all other parties concerned hereby submit in favour of Ramsay Cornish Auctioneers and Valuers to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the Scottish Courts.

Lots purchased online with will attract an additional charge for this service in the sum of 3% of the hammer price plus VAT at the rate imposed.

Buyers premium 20% + VAT


All accounts to be settled by cash or cheques with appropriate guarantee cards or by direct bank transfer to the Ramsay Cornish bank account – please ask for details.  Third party cheques cannot be accepted.  All lots paid for by Online bidding must be settled by bank transfer to our bank account no later than five days after the sale. 


Please note that Ramsay Cornish do not offer a posting and packing service.  Edinburgh Mailboxes can be contacted for smaller items on 0131 556 6226, email