Monday, October 31, 2011

The Apprentice House

Frank William Brangwyn - The Cider Press

Price Realized

signed 'F B' (lower right)
oil on canvas
77½ x 78 in. (196.8 x 198.1 cm.)

London, New Gallery, 1902.
Venice, Venice Biennale, 1903.
St. Louis, St. Louis International Exposition, 1904, no. 34., illustrated. Venice, Venice Biennale, 1914

A painting redolent of the Old Masters, autumnal in colour and spirit, with a wonderful sense of light flickering through the central window of sky. Unusually for Brangwyn he appears to indicate a romantic yearning for the glories of rural England. The work has been highly praised by critics, Rinder describing it as a 'robust idealisation of an incident charged with beauty and with significance' considering it a 'noteworthy attempt to express the half-triumphant, half-sad sentiment of October'. Marion Spielman described the painting as 'one of [Brangwyn's] most opulent designs, such as Titian might rejoice in could he come to life in the twentieth century' whilst the Studio critic noted that it was 'masterly in handing and sumptuous in colour'. Seeing the work gracing the walls of Horton House, Winterbottom's home, Furst recalled 'the beautiful early rich and mellow Cider Press which alone would secure to its author a place amongst the Great Masters'. The work appealed vastly to the Japanese earlier this year - becoming the signature painting for the exhibition.

According to Macer-Wright, East purchased the work for £300 to help the younger artist out of financial difficulties, but the claim cannot be substantiated. Brangwyn borrowed the work from East to lend to an exhibition in Munich, but apparently the packing case was destroyed when on the docks in Tilbury. East recovered the canvas, had it relined and restored and it subsequently sold for £1,400.

We are grateful to Libby Horner for her help in preparing this catalogue entry.

William Etty - Female nude, seen from behind, leaning on a rock

Price Realized

oil on canvas
24 x 17¼ in. (61 x 43.8 cm.)

Herbert James Gunn - Nude study

Price Realized

signed 'James Gunn' (centre right)
oil on canvas
50 x 40 in. (127 x 101.6 cm.)

An atypical work by the artist, albeit using models who appear in other examples. Probably dating from the 1930s, it is an interesting experiment in the artist's exploration of a new style and subject.

James Drummond - Portrait of the Baroness Burdett Coutts and her companion Mrs Brown, Edinburgh, 1874

Price Realized

inscribed and numbered 'Baroness Burdett Coutts/(1087)' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
20½ x 29 in. (52.1 x 73.7 cm.)

James Drummond, R.S.A. (1816-1877)

This striking composition by Drummond, by then curator of Edinburgh's National Gallery, commemorates the granting of the Freedom of the City in 1874 to Angela Burdett Coutts, described by King Edward VII as 'after my mother, the most remarkable woman in the kingdom'. The youngest daughter of Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Bt., and his wife Sophia Coutts, she inherited three million pounds from Harriot, Duchess of St. Albans, who had previously been married, when an aspiring actress, to her grandfather, the banker Thomas Coutts. Resolutely single, until she married a twenty eight year old at the age of sixty seven, Burdett Coutts spent her fortune on a variety of good causes both at home and abroad. Queen Victoria made her the first woman to be granted a peerage in her own right. She was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Her inseparable companion for fifty two years was her former governess, Mrs Brown, 'the sunshine of my life'. Edna Healey in her acclaimed biography delicately suggests that there was 'an element in the close attachment ... that a post Freudian observer would see as sexual' but the couple would have been 'happily unaware' of such a notion. Their likenesses are preserved in stone in statues flanking the gateway to Holly Village, a model development they built in Highgate to act as an eye-catcher from their house, Holly Lodge. On Mrs Brown's death in 1878 the Baroness received letters of condolence from Queen Victoria, Empress Eugenie, and the King of the Belgians. Few Victorian governesses were so fêted or mourned.

It is remarkable how their relationship was so widely accepted in Victorian society, in contrast to the opprobrium that greeted the Baroness's later marriage.

Noel Paton - Christian at the foot of the cross - Pilgrim's Progress

Price Realized

signed with monogram (lower right) and signed and inscribed 'The
copyright of this Picture is Reserved by/Noel Paton' (on the
oil on canvas, with an arched top 15¾ x 10½ in. (40 x 26.5 cm.)

oseph Noel Paton drew many subjects from John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress from his return to Edinburgh in 1857 well into the 1870's. The present picture is most probably a preliminary sketch for the work recorded in his studio in 1873 and now in Aberdeen Art Gallery.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Richard Jack - The apple

signed and dated 'R JACK 1901'
oil on canvas
79 x 62.5cm (31 1/8 x 24 5/8in).

Sarah McGregor - Combing Teddy

Sarah McGregor (British fl. 1869-1885)
Combing Teddy
signed and dated 'S.McGregor 1918' (lower right)
oil on canvas
76 x 63.5cm (29 15/16 x 25in).

Sold for £9,000 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

William Henry Knight - Rivals to Blondin

signed and dated 'W. H. Knight/1862.' (lower left), inscribed 'No. 2 Subject "Rivals to Blondin" W. H. Knight No 1. Claude Villas Love Walk Grove Lane Camberwell' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
46.5 x 61cm (18 5/16 x 24in).

Sold for £15,840 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

Matthias Robinson - Charge of the Light Brigade

(British, active 1856-1884)
Charge of the Light Brigade
signed with monogram and dated '1864' (lower right)
oil on canvas
47.5 x 73.5cm (18 11/16 x 28 15/16in).

Sold for £6,240 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

Helen Allingham - Buckinghamshire house at Penstreet

signed 'H.Allingham' (lower right)
36 x 50.5cm (14 3/16 x 19 7/8in).

Sold for £16,800 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

with M. Newman Ltd, 1967
Sir Owen Aisher
The Marley Collection of Helen Allingham watercolours, Christie's London, September 19, 1991, lot 40
Sale, Bonhams London, 9th March 2004 lot 87

Annabel Watts, Helen Allingham's Cottage Homes Revisited, Craddocks Printing Works Ltd., Surrey 2002, p.18
Andrew Clayton-Payne, Victorian Cottages, Weidenfeld & Nicholson, 1993 p 123

For many years, part of this building was occupied by George and Catherine Randall and their daughter Annie. George was a blacksmith and it was there he had his forge. In the early years of the 20th century the house caught fire causing considerable damage, but it was rebuilt and still stands today.

This watercolour was one of 55, by Helen Allingham RWS, acquired by Sir Owen Aisher from 1947 until 1970. Each painting in the collection featured a cottage or a farmhouse as Sir Owen, Chairman of Marley Ltd, was particularly interested in the building materials so faithfully reproduced by the artist.

Allingham completed no more than half a dozen Buckinghamshire subjects and they date from circa 1900.

We are grateful to Annabel Watts for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Myles Birket Foster

The Swing
signed with monogram (lower right)
watercolour heightened with bodycolour
27.5 x 41.5cm (10 13/16 x 16 5/16in).

Ring a Ring a Roses
signed with monogram (lower left)
watercolour heightened with bodycolour
20.5 x 27cm (8 1/16 x 10 5/8in).

Sold for £18,000 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

The shepherdess
signed with monogram (lower right)
watercolour heightened with bodycolour
15 x 22.5cm (5 7/8 x 8 7/8in).

Louise J. Rayner

Broad Street, Bristol
signed 'Louise Rayner' (lower right)
watercolour and bodycolour
49.5 x 33cm (19 1/2 x 13in).

Sold for £7,200 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

John Knox's House, Edinburgh
signed 'Louise Rayner' (lower left)
watercolour and bodycolour
32 x 46.5cm (12 5/8 x 18 5/16in).

Sold for £26,400 inclusive of Buyer's Premium

Mary L. Gow

[Sisters; Playing with her Dolls]

one signed and dated l.l.: M. L. GOW. 97.; the other signed and dated l.l: M.L. Gow/ 1905 both watercolour and bodycolourone 51 by 40cm., 20 by 15¾in.; the other 38 by 20cm., 15 by 8in.

ESTIMATE 4,000-6,000 GBP

Sotheby's in London announces sale of Victorian & Edwardian art in November

Charles Spencelayh - The Lacemaker (Mrs Newell Making Lace) c. 1920

Charles Spencelayh - His Daily Ration 1946

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Backstairs keep their secrets as home of a giant of Victorian art reopens

Tuesday 22 December 2009
£1.6m restoration of London home of painter Lord Frederic Leighton exposes many features for first time but throws no light on his enigmatic love life

Glasgow Boys exhibition opens at Kelvingrove

Sixty paintings by the influential Victorian artists are to go on permanent display at the museum.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Internet down

Its been one thing then another. I was re-cabling my router, after moving my computer, and something broke and my local town didn't have the correct cable. All ordered but be back properly later this week.