BOSTON — Skinner’s January 26 European and American Works of Art auction saw a market fresh N.C. Wyeth painting bring $339,000 including buyer’s premium. Those who have read Jane Porter’s book, The Scottish Chiefs, or have seen the 1995 Hollywood blockbuster Braveheart, should be familiar with the storyline, with William Wallace drawing his sword against his own supposed allies, trying to rally them to arms against the English whose promises of power and money make for an appealing argument against the altruistic principles of liberty and freedom for all. The painting, “Wallace Draws the King’s Sword,” descended through the Scribner collection since Porter’s book was published in 1921, and can be seen illustrated on page 318 of the first edition.
Facing his fellow Scottish chieftains and drawing the sword he captured from Edward I at Stirling, Wallace shouted “He that first makes a stroke at me shall find his death on this Southron steel! This sword I made the arm of the usurper yield to me; and this sword shall defend the regent of Scotland.”
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