Wednesday - 03 September 2014

Seago collection goes under starters orders at Sotheby’s

25 October 2012Written by Alex Capon

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 2010.

Overall, the 40 works are expected to bring in excess of £500,000.

Antiques Trade Gazette is the weekly bible of the fine art and antiques industry. Read articles like this every week in the Antiques Trade Gazette or ATG app. Click here to subscribe today.

Back to top