Ever popular in the saleroom, the artist Edward Seago (1910-1974) has a following at auction that few 20th century British painters can match.
Although his works are keenly pursued by leading London dealers
as well as a healthy body of collectors, the consignment of 40
works to Sotheby's British & Irish Art sale in London on
November 13 will provide an interesting test to see if the market
can absorb such a selection in one go.
The works come from the one of the most significant collections
of Seago's works kept in private hands. It was formed by the
artist's early patron Ronald 'Ronnie' Horton, a steelmaker who
settled in Oxfordshire after the Second World War and dedicated
himself to training racehorses.
He had first encountered Seago's work at the artist's second
London exhibition, held at the Sporting Gallery in 1933. Following
the purchase of two circus scenes, he went on to form his
collection over a 30-year-period, buying and exchanging pictures in
consultation with Seago himself.
Included in the Sotheby's sale are pictures of the landscape
around Horton's National Hunt stables at Middleton Stoney as well
as depictions of his horses.
When Horton died in 1959, the house, stables and art collection
were left to the jockey Derek Ancil who had turned professional
while riding at the Middleton stables and went on to race no fewer
than 11 times in the Grand National.
Indeed, Ancil himself features in some of Seago pictures
including The Gallop, Weston on the Green (est.
£60,000-80,000) where he is among the riders in the dramatic racing
scene, as well as May Morning, Middleton Park which is
estimated at £40,000-60,000.
Derek Ancil finally retired from racing in 1989 and the
consignment of the pictures to Sotheby's follows his death in
Overall, the 40 works are expected to bring in excess of