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In the wake of Cheltenham Gold Cup excitement, Berkshire auction house Dreweatts are celebrating British sporting art in a fine pictures sale. The auction, on Wednesday 25 March, curated by James Harvey, International Head of Fine Art and Private Treaty sales at Dreweatts, features portrayals of the stars of horse racing history by the great sporting painters of the day.
The headline work in the sale, Mr John Bowes’ Mündig, Winner of the Derby Stakes at Epsom, 1835 (illustrated above) is an exceptional painting by John Frederick Herring the Elder (1795–1865).
Mündig won the Epson Derby in 1835, the first winner to have been trained in the North of England. This stallion was renowned for his exceptional savagery and reputedly on one occasion ran amok and killed a man.
There are several known versions depicting Mr John Bowes’ Mündig,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].
Mr John Bowes’ Streatlam Stud produced a number of famous horses and Bowes won the Derby four times, the first with Mündig in 1835, when he was only 24 and still at Cambridge. Bowes was also an avid art collector and often had his prized racehorses captured in oils.
Another of Bowes’ horses features in the auction: A chestnut and two bay racehorses belonging to John Bowes with jockeys up by John Dalby (1810–65). This painting dating from 1845 is estimated to achieve £8,000–12,000 [Lot 12].
A portrait of Isinglass is also offered in the sale. Isinglass was the best British two-year-old in 1892 and the sixth winner of the Triple Crown. Of the 12 races he ran, Isinglass won 11. The portrait, by Henry Frederick Lucas Lucas (1848–1943), is titled, Jockey up, with white cap, and shows the racehorse with jockey Tommy Loates. The painting is estimated at £1,500–2,000 [Lot 11].
Other famous racehorses depicted in this auction include Sir Charles Assheton-Smith’s ‘Cackler’, by James Lynwood Palmer (1868–1941) [est. £1,200–1,800 Lot 10] and Bendigo by Alfred Wheeler (1851–1932) [est. £1,000-1,500 Lot 14].
Saturday 21 March; 9.00am-12.30pm
Sunday 22 March; 10.00am-2.00pm
Monday 23 March; 9.00am-6.00pm
Tuesday 24 March; 9.00am-4.30pm
Day of sale from 8.30am
The catalogue is available to view online at www.dreweatts.com.
Wednesday 25 March 2015, 10a.m.
To read the rest of Cassone free of charge, follow this link.