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Christie's South Kensington, ‘Sporting Art & Dogs’
Thursday November 28th 2002

Lot 109: Contained within the "Hunting" section of the catalogue is this lovely watercolour by John Arthur Lomax (1857-1923), titled The post boy and his dog. estimated at £2,500-£3,500

Long before Bonhams started to export its annual auction of dog art to New York in 1999, more and more of our exceptional heritage of canine art had begun to find a permanent home overseas. The inevitable knock on effect has led to less and less quality items being offered for sale in the specialist thumbed auctions here in the UK.

There was a time when one could expect the big London sale rooms to catalogue sales with two or three hundred dog paintings and a generous selection of bronzes and other collectables included. Such is the shortage of items of canine art on the market right now that Christie's (South Kensington) has long since merged its sales of dog paintings with sporting art.

Of the 370 lots on offer at Christie's South Kensington sale room next week a mere 90 are dog paintings. The first 64 lots of the sale are mainly birds, fish and game, followed by some fine coaching pictures and a massive selection of 144 horse and hunting paintings. However perhaps most telling indication of the shortage of quality original stock is the section of 54 prints and engravings, the largest I can remember Christie’s ever to include in a sporting/dog sale.

The dog painting section starts with lot 278, a head study of a Terrier by Herbert William Weeks (active 1864-1904), incorrectly identified by Christie's as a Border Terrier, one of many such mistakes throughout the dog section. The very next lot is, however, correctly listed as a Border Terrier and it is the finest head study I have ever seen of the breed.

Painted by J. Christian Thompson in 1865, Sandy was the property of Mrs Davy and this fine oval 18" x 15" (45 x 38cm) oil is estimated at only £800-1,200. Don't miss this one please Border Terrier collectors!!!

Lot 341: A very typical rendition of a Pug by Horatio Henry Couldery (1832-1893).
This highly collected breed usually sells well in the auction rooms,
so the pre-sale estimate of £1,500-£2,000 may be modest

I have to say the sale is rich with solid "second division" works from the likes of sale room favourites, 19th century artists, George and Edward Armfield and Paul Jones who have a total of seven lots entered. The two paintings from Arthur Wardle, unusually show a pack of Leicestershire Foxhounds in full flight, Wardle is more normally associated with static poses of dogs so Lot 304 (a pair) should easily reach the auctioneer's estimate of £7,000-10,000.

A fine painting of a Miniature Pinscher (Lot 323) by Simon Simonsen (1841-1928), measuring 21" x 16" (53 x 40cm), signed and dated 1904 is estimated at £2,000-3,000, but amazingly is identified by the auctioneers as being a Rottweiler! Other notable mis-identifications include Lot 353, a fine English Springer by Sam Fulton (1855-1941) estimated at £2,000-3,000, but titles a Cocker: Lot 352, an intriguing pack of Otterhounds in/by a river, attributed to 19th C. artist J Langlois (£3,000-5,000), titled Spaniels by a River and Lot 324, a St Bernard with her litter by Beno Adam (1812-1892) signed and dated 1862 (£6,000-8,000) but titled "A Bernese Mountain Dog and it's Litter".

Lot 362: Probably the "star" of the dog section is this fine study of a Pointer
by Thomas Blinks (1860-1912). Large in dimensions at 25" x 33" (63 x 84cm)
it carries and estimate of £10,000-£15,000

Of the more modestly estimated breed paintings the following are worth checking out: Lot 357 Micky a Red Setter in a Landscape by illustrator Florence Jay (Early 20th C.) a 20" x 26" signed oil estimated at £1,000-1,500: Lot 346, Hide and Seek by another illustrator Helena Maguire (1860-1909), showing a St Bernard and a child, whilst only 7.5" x 6.25" (19 x 16cm), it carries an equally small estimate of £500-700: Lot 335 is a rather lovely oil of a pair of King Charles Spaniels by Alix Jennings dated 1948, large in size at 25" x 30" but modest in estimate at £800-1,200: Lot 301 by C. Smith (19th C.) of a Manchester Terrier, correctly attributed this time, of the two dimensional English provincial type but could be a gift at just £400-600.

However the "snip" of the sale I think could well be a very nice head study of a Deerhound by highly regarded George W. Horlor (active 1849-1891), signed and dated 1877. This is Lot 303 and on the back of the picture is states ‘Etat June 1878/Bran Aged 3 years Aug.

1877/The property of the author’. Only measuring 9" x 12", I can't believe that it will only fetch between £500-800. If it does, this will a real bargain.

The sale in on Thursday November 28th at 2.00pm, with viewing from Sunday 24th November until the day before the sale at Christie's Old Brompton Road salesroom. Late night viewing till 7:30pm is on Monday 25th. Full colour catalogues are available and can be ordered by phone on 020 7581 7611 or via Fax on 020 7321 3321. The entire catalogue may also be viewed on the internet, at the Christies web site which is:

Lot 332: St Bernard paintings are fairly regular entries at dog auctions, which tends to affect the prices achieved. The artist, Simon Simonsen was Born in Munich Germany, was Danish by nationality and studied art in France. His Nestor, signed and dated 1899 carries an estimate of £4,000-£6,000