Two market-fresh British pictures consigned from a private American collection to Ahlers & Ogletree’s upcoming auction make a significant addition to the 1000-plus lots being offered at the Atlanta saleroom.
The racing scene by John Frederick Herring Senior
(1795-1865) and the classical landscape by George
Lambert (1700-65) come from a collection in Suwanee,
Georgia, where they have been for decades. The will appear at the
auction on June 6-8.
The Lambert landscape is a 2ft 4in x 3ft 5in (71cm x 1.04m) oil
on canvas showing figures strolling on a path. It is estimated at
The Herring Sr, however, which depicts a scene from one of the
most famous races of the 19th century, may well prove the bigger
highlight. The race, which became known as The Great Match, pitted
two of the greatest thoroughbreds of the day against each other -
Voltigeur and The Flying Dutchman - with 1000
sovereigns wagered on each side by their owners.
The contest took place at York on May 31, 1851, with a crowd of
between 100,000 and 150,000, still a racecourse record.
Voltigeur (pictured on the left) was owned by Lord
Zetland and was the dual winner of the Epsom Derby and St Leger in
1850, while Lord Eglinton's The Flying Dutchman had won
the Derby and St Leger in 1849 as well as the Ascot Gold Cup in
In the event it was a closely-fought race
as Voltigeur, the younger horse, made the early
running but The Flying Dutchman moved up in the final
furlong before drawing level and ended up winning by a length.
This 2ft 1in x 3ft (64 x 91cm) oil on canvas was one of a number
of paintings that were made to commemorate the race. While other
artists who painted scenes included Harry Hall (1814-82), the
large-scale depiction of the horses approaching the finish by
Herring Sr is undoubtedly the best known. That work, now in the
National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket, was later both copied by
other artists and made into a popular engraving.
This work up for sale in Atlanta, which is signed and dated
1851, provides another perspective on The Great Match, showing the
horses paraded before the race in front of a large group of
The combination of artist, subject matter and the fact that both
horses have the jockeys 'up', would all seem to stand in its
favour. It is estimated at $90,000-120,000.
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