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Maud Earl Painting of Clumber Spaniels Offered at Bonhams

A beautiful oil painting by the renowned canine artist Maud Earl (1864-1943) depicting two Clumber Spaniels, will feature in the 19th Century Paintings auction on 13th July 2011 at Bonhams New Bond Street. Entitled Surely, Surely, Slumber is more sweet than Toil, the work is estimated to sell for £3,000-5,000.

The two spaniels are Champion Rose of Hardwick and Brave of Hardwick and they were both owned by Her Grace the Duchess of Newcastle, wife of Henry Pelham-Clinton, the 7th Duke of Newcastle-under-Lyme. The Duchess (1872-1955) was well-known for her involvement in the dog world and she was a show judge as well as a breeder who influenced the Borzoi, Wire Fox Terrier and Clumber Spaniel breeds.

Clumbers are the largest type of spaniels and the early history of the breed is uncertain. One theory put forward is that they originally came from France and the Duc de Noailles gave his kennel to the Duke of Newcastle at Clumber Park in Nottinghamshire at the time of the French Revolution.

The spaniels definitely get their name from the Duke’s ancestral home and his gamekeeper, William Mansell is credited with their development and improvement. They proved popular with the monarchy with Queen Victoria describing them in her diary as ‘such dear, nice dogs’ and King Edward VII breeding them at Sandringham.

Maud Earl (1864-1943) was an eminent British-American artist known for her canine paintings. Her father, uncle and brother were also successful animal painters, and it was her father, George, who was her first teacher. Born in London, she studied at the Royal Female School of Art and later exhibited twelve works at the Royal Academy. She became famous at a time when women were not expected to make their living through working as an artist, but she developed a select clientele and counted Queen Victoria and Queen Alexandra amongst her patrons. In 1916 she emigrated to New York City.

Charles O’Brien, Head of 19th Century Pictures at Bonhams comments, “We have sold a number of works by Maud Earl over the years including an important picture of the labrador Peter of Faskally for $103,700 in February 2011. This example is particularly charming and wonderfully illustrates her ability to capture the character of the dog and combine it with faultless artistic technique.”

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