The late husband and wife Michael Mugglestone and Pamela Turnbull were sporting art specialists who set up the Countryman’s Gallery in Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire.
They started collecting together in the early 1980s and soon after began selling at antique and game fairs and horse trials across the country.
The group of 110 lots on September 20-21 offered at Cambridge saleroom Cheffins (24.5% buyer’s premium) came to auction following Mugglestone’s death earlier this year (his wife pre-deceased him by 13 years).
Comprising mainly sporting art by artists such as Lionel Edwards, Cecil Aldin and Charles ‘Snaffles’ Johnson Payne, all the lots sold for approximately £100,000.
Director at Cheffins Brett Tryner said: “There are several dedicated collectors in the market for works by the likes of Snaffles and Lionel Edwards; however, the breadth and quality of this collection brought several new buyers to Cheffins. Sporting art has remained consistently sought after among both private collectors and the trade.”
In the lead
Leading the collection was one of Stewart’s sporting scenes titled The Fernie. The signed watercolour measuring 12¼ x 18in (31 x 46cm) showed a group of top-hatted huntsman riding across a landscape.
It was an example of his most commercially appealing works which depict formal hunts taking place across rolling hills. In this case, it showed an historic Leicestershire event dating back to 1853 and it was also in good condition with only some slight black spotting to the top right corner.
Estimated at £300-500, it sold at £6500 to a private buyer based in Gloucestershire. The price is an auction record for the artist according to Artprice.com.
A rarer example of a non-sporting picture by the artist was also part of the consignment at Cheffins.
One lesser-known fact about Stewart was that he worked as a war artist for the Illustrated London News earlier in his career. Here a view of soldiers taking cover, a 13¾ x 18½in (35 x 47cm) signed pencil and watercolour, was pitched at £700-1000. Attracting another decent competition, it sold at £3400 to a private Devon-based buyer who was bidding online.