A typical example of the artist’s work titled The Toy Boat, depicting children pulling the toy out of the sea, was offered at Edinburgh saleroom Lyon & Turnbull (25/20% buyer’s premium) on February 5 estimated at a modest £1000-1500.
The 5½ x 9½in (14cm x 24cm) oil on panel, which came in good original condition but had some visible craquelure, drew multiple bids and was knocked down at £11,000. The theme of children playing on the beach with toy boats was first developed by Israëls in 1863 in his painting Fishermen’s Children (in the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam). Variations of the subject were popular with collectors in England and North America, where the Amsterdam dealer Abraham Preyer kept a steady supply in the New York branch of his dealership.
In his later years, Israëls would execute these ‘potboilers’ for sale only and they would find their way abroad directly from his studio.
Codrington at the double
The sale also contained two Edwardian portraits of Isabel Codrington (1874-1943) that had come from the artist’s estate, part of which had been offered at the Edinburgh saleroom last year.
Bid to a mid-estimate £10,000 was an oil on board study by her friend Philip Alexius de Laszlo (1899-1937), the Anglo-Hungarian painter best known for his portraits of royal and aristocratic sitters.
The other work, a 2ft 7in x 12in (80 x 32cm) full-length pastel portrait of Codrington in a white evening dress by her sister’s husband John Byam Shaw (1872-1919) and dated 1904, sold for £7000 against a £3000-5000 guide.