The March 25th Fine Pictures sale is James Harveys first at the helm following his appointment in 2014, as International Head of Fine Art and Private Treaty sales for the recently enlarged Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions
. Featuring artists that include John Frederick Herring the Elder, George Morland, E. W. Cook, John Wilson Carmichael, Spencer Frederick Gore and Paul Maze, this sale signals the return of stand-alone picture sales to Donnington Priory.
Commenting on the forthcoming auction, James Harvey said: Nestling in its quintessentially English Country House setting, Donnington Priory is uniquely placed for the development of a vibrant regional picture hub focusing on the middle market in Fine Art. The Berkshire location, adjacent to the M4, is highly regarded in the local economy and easily accessed en route to both the Cotswolds and South West England. In re-launching a full calendar of specialist Picture sales we are able to serve the broadest range of both buyers and sellers and our proximity to Heathrow also provides ease of access to international collectors. The timing is opportune as this market is again showing encouraging signs of an increased appetite for well-priced pictures.
The headline work in this inaugural sale, Mr John Bowes Mundig, Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom, 1835, is an exceptional painting by John Frederick Herring the Elder (1795-1865). There are several other known versions depicting Mr John Bowes Mundig, one of which is a smaller painting currently held in The Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery; another version is held by the Scottish National Trust at Brodick Castle and a larger version was sold in New York, in April 1996, for $2.25m. The current painting would appear to be a more refined and polished example of the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery version, which is itself believed to be the painting engraved by Charles Hunt. The painting is offered with a £80,000-£120,000 estimate [Lot 9].
The sale also features an exceptional group of 15 Edward Lear Watercolours from the Harford Collection. The watercolours and drawings were executed by Lear between 1843 and 1845, with the majority dated 1844. The works appear to be on-the-spot studies which Lear may have later worked up in his studio. Ten of the works were subsequently used as preliminary studies to illustrate Lears first volume of Illustrated Excursions in Italy, 1846. Edward Lear spent just over decade in Italy, between 1837 and 1849, with only two extended return visits to England. He spent the winter months in Rome, and travelled extensively with friends and companions throughout the rest of the year.
The Gallery Sale, Part II March 25th 2 pm
Part II of the sale launches Dreweatts first Gallery Sale. In assembling this group of paintings, comprising 48 lots drawn from Mallett stock, the goal has been to appeal to the widest range of buyers. Every painting is conserved, framed and ready to hang and the buyer can be confident that the work comes with its past auction history, previous Mallett and exhibition provenance and a full condition report.
Featuring works by George Samuel Elgood, Beatrice Parsons, Benjamin Williams Leader and Francis Sartorius, prices range from the £100s to £100,000 for the most important paintings. The majority of lots are being offered without reserve and all lots are estimated at a significant discount to their original cost.
In offering this unprecedented combination of pricing and provenance transparency for wall ready fine art, we are setting a new standard for the disposal of trading stock and we anticipate a great deal of interest from owners of similar collections for subsequent Gallery Sales. James Harvey has extensive experience in this area, having previously been a Director at Mallett for 20 years and subsequently an independent gallerist, trading for the past 5 years as James Harvey British Art.
The opportunity for both collectors and decorators to buy Bond Street-quality works at auction prices will generate a high level of pre-sale interest from local, European and international clients. In anticipation of this, the online catalogue will be available for viewing on The Auction Room platform: www.theauctionroom.com from Monday March 2nd, where commission bids can be left in advance of the auction at Donnington Priory.
The lots on offer reflect the eclectic and diverse decorative schemes that Mallett has curated over its 150 years of trading. From the attractive watercolours, at the start of the sale, a wide spectrum of styles and themes are covered, from the Grand Tour to contemporary offerings by Lady Emma Tennant, (lots 165 and 166). At estimates starting from under £1,000 The Gallery Sale offers wonderful and unique opportunities for all tastes and pockets.
Alongside the decorative works, are more serious oil paintings by major names, such as John Cleveley the Elder (1712-1777), Two 32-gun Frigates receiving their Captains ; this is an exceptional marine work, est: £70,000-£120,000 [Lot 173], and is one of the works from the auctions upper price point.
Edith Gunther (b.1887), The Mirror, est. £10,000-£15,000 is a charming and unusual composition from a lady artist who was for a short period a pupil of Sir William Orpen, who greatly influenced her work. She married a fellow artist Hubert Alexander - a member of the Cranbrook Colony. Gunthers work was exhibited at the NEAC Lot 185.