On October 3, Surrey saleroom John Nicholson’s (24% buyer’s premium) offered this 20in x 2ft 6in (51 x 76cm) oil on canvas by Pollard titled The Mail Coach on His Majesty’s Birthday 1825. It shows a Royal Mail coach decorated in ‘hammer-cloth, rosettes and nosegays’ and illuminated to the side of the coach with a large ‘GR’ for George IV.
This work had appeared at Sotheby’s nearly 50 years ago and shown at the British Sporting Art Trust exhibition at Christie’s in 2003. It tipped just over top estimate to sell to a private collector at a mid-estimate £12,000.
Attentive readers of ATG will note that over the last few years the auction house has drip-fed a collection of coaching scenes by Pollard and other artists from a single anonymous collector, who bought from London dealers over several decades. John Nicholson’s said the latest offering came from a deceased estate but declined to say whether it was from the same source.
Last year, the Fernhurst firm sold a slightly larger scene by Pollard showing the Bristol to London Royal Mail coach for £13,000 at John Nicholson’s.