The artist, who was a specialist in equestrian painting, was a highly sought-after French academic painter during the late 19th century and among his pupils was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, of whom he was a family friend.
Top-seller among the group in West Norwood was Early morning, bringing out hounds, a typical work in terms of its subject and carefully conceived style. It was slightly unusual, however, in terms of composition showing the hunt directly face-on (although the artist repeated the format in two smaller works in 1887 and 1892, both titled Le Relais, with one depicting the same horse as the present work).
The 4ft 4in x 3ft 3in (1.31m x 98cm) signed oil on canvas will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné compiled by Louis Cuvreau and Hubert de Watrigant, and this helped it get away, although below estimate, at £24,000.
Making a smaller sum but drawing more competition was another hunting scene titled La Chasses Basque, an oil on panel from c.1878-82 that surpassed a £4000-6000 estimate and was knocked down at £10,000.