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(Updated 3/8/01)

Biddle & Webb sale

On offer at Birmingham auction house Biddle & Webb’s next sale, on Friday 3rd August is this unusual painting of a St Bernard standing over a seated Japanese Chin. The work of American artist James Henry Beard (1812-1893), the painting is quite small, measuring 6” x 8” and has a gilt frame. It carries a modest pre sale estimate of £250-£350.

James Henry Beard was born in Buffalo, New York in 1812 and at the age of 11 moved with his family to Painesville, Ohio, where his brother, another artist, William Holbrook, was born. Between 1834 and 1870 he lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, before returning to New York for the rest of his life. During the American Civil War, he fought for the Union Army and many of his early paintings show the poor people in their struggle to survive. Later in life he became known for his children’s portraits and his satirical anthropomorphic animal subjects and other humorous topics which were in contrast to the over sentimentality of the work of many of his contemporaries.

A completely self taught artist, many of Beard’s children went on to become successful artists in their own right. These included: James Carter Beard (1837-1913), Frank Beard (1842-1905), Daniel Carter Beard (1850-1941) and Henry Beard (dates unknown).

Biddle & Webb are at Ladywood, Middleway, Birmingham B16 0PP
Tel: 0121-455-8042 Fax:0121-454-9615,