19th Century British Art

This sector includes Romantic painting, Victorian art, British Orientalism and Pre-Raphaelite art.


Bonhams get middle market mix right

09 March 2004

WITH thousands of middle-class homes being turned into white boxes every week, how on earth can English auctioneers sustain the market for middle-of-the-road Victorian pictures?

A shocking dog story in paint…

13 February 2004

Dead animals are usually regarded as a major commercial no-no in a painting, as is excessive size. It was therefore hardly a surprise that a recently restored and relined 5ft 10in by 8ft (1.78 x 2.44m) Richard Ansdell (1815-1885) canvas featuring a dead wolf and a dying dog did not exactly inspire a blizzard of bids when it came under the hammer at Maxwells of Wilmslow on January 23.

Scot tops the international scene at Sussex sale

13 February 2004

Scottish, Greek and Australian subjects gave a welcome international feel to the main highlights among the pictures offered on the third day of Gorringes’ (15% buyer’s premium) January 27-29 sale in Lewes.

Back among provincial beauties...

09 July 2003

Victorian painter Sophie Anderson (1823-1903), who specialised in heart-warming female figure studies, appears rather infrequently on the market, but a Hampshire religious institution furnished the Lewes branch of Gorringe’s (15% buyer’s premium) with two good quality, signed half-length female subjects in untouched condition for their June 12 picture sale.

Record for Constable in battle for Victory

08 April 2003

“AS extreme as always with focused bidding on the key lots,” was Victorian specialist Grant Ford’s frank description of the selective response to Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) mid-season British Sale at Bond Street.

Ireland’s Gothic vandalism

26 March 2003

Gothic Art in Ireland 1169-1550: Enduring Vitality, by Colum Hourihane, Yale University Press. ISBN 0300094353 £45.00 hb (publication date April 17).

Reynolds portrait of Omai faces export ban

06 January 2003

THE Tate Gallery has launched a campaign to raise £12.5m to acquire Sir Joshua Reynolds’ celebrated portrait of Omai, the South Sea Islander who took London Society by storm in the 18th century.

Bringing in a guaranteed harvest in Home Counties stockbroker belt

06 December 2002

Over the last year or so there have been some worryingly disappointing results at London and New York auctions of 19th century British and Continental pictures. Bidding in London at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) November 19 sale of 19th Century Paintings, however, exhibited some much-welcomed signs of renewed solidity, with 64 per cent of the 182 lots finding buyers.

Top-end Victorian art feels the pinch

02 December 2002

The market for high-value Victorian pictures took a downturn last week when Christie’s and Sotheby’s Important British Picture sales posted some worryingly high levels of bought-ins.

Long lost – and found

21 November 2002

The paintings of Edwin Long (1829-1891) are well known to London’s gallery visitors, since there are works by him in both the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy, but many of his works have long been lost or forgotten.

How Smith made Moyr of a name for himself

08 October 2002

John Moyr Smith 1839-1912: A Victorian Designer, by Annamarie Stapleton, published by Richard Dennis Publications. ISBN 0903685841 £18sb (ISBN 0903685876 £22hb)

Dispute keeps lost Blakes under cover

09 September 2002

A second hand bookshop in Glasgow and two dealers are locked in a legal dispute over the ownership of a lost cache of William Blake watercolours, valued at over £1m.

Green bags the top shot at Gleneagles

03 September 2002

This large Highland hunting landscape by John Frederick Herring Senior proved to be the highlight of Sotheby’s annual auction series held last week at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, when it sold for £470,000 (plus 19.5/10% premium) to London dealer Richard Green Fine Art bidding on the phone.

Highlands near high point

29 August 2002

ON July 23 Bristol Auction Rooms (15% buyer’s premium) took the second highest price at auction for an oil by Hampshire artist Henry Garland (1854-1900). Back in December 1998 Bonhams Knightsbridge took a premium- inclusive £12,650 for the 3ft 4in by 5ft 7in (1.02 x 1.70m) oil Village Gossips.

Hole in one for Scottish gallery

24 July 2002

JUST as the world’s top golfers were teeing off for The Open at Muirfield last week, Scotland was celebrating another hole in one. Grants totalling more than £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Arts Collection Fund, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews and private benefactors meant that the Scottish National Portrait Gallery could acquire the nation’s most important golfing painting, Charles Lees’ (1800-1880) oil on canvas, The Golfers (1847).

You can still get value out of the Victorians

26 March 2002

What will £1500 buy in today’s picture market? If quality is going to be my criterion and oil painting is my medium, then not very much, one might be forced to conclude after reading the latest report on how the market is polarising between an increasingly expensive best and a totally undesirable rest.

US link lifts Peele to five times hopes

22 March 2002

Artists with any kind of American connection almost invariably attract an extra level of interest when their work comes up for sale at a UK provincial saleroom. This was certainly the case when this 2ft 53/4in by 223/4in (75 x 57cm) genre canvas, right, by John Thomas Peele (1822-1897) came up for sale at the Heathfield, East Sussex rooms of Watsons (10% buyer’s premium) on March 7.

£1m expected for watercolours that Blake made for a “petty sneaking knave” and The Grave

18 February 2002

In 1805, William Blake was commissioned by Robert Harley Cromek to make a set of 40 drawings to illustrate Robert Blair’s poem The Grave, 20 of which Cromek proposed to have engraved by Blake.

Gazette ad made high ransom for Hostage

31 January 2002

BELGIUM (£1=BFr63): Antwerp's Campo Vlaamse Kaai enjoyed a pleasant pre-Christmas surprise at their two-day sale on December 11/12 when A Hostage, a large work by Edmund Blair Leighton (1853-1922) measuring 3ft 8in by 4ft 10in (1.12 x 1.48m), featuring a girl leaning on a wall, gazing wistfully out to sea, raced to BFr3.1m (£49,200) against an inexplicably low estimate of BFr8000-12,000.

Glasgow Boys to visit London

07 January 2002

THE Glasgow Boys school of painters will be the subject of the inaugural exhibition at the Fleming Collection at 13 Berkeley Street, London W1 at the end of this month.

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