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July’s Fine Pictures Sale at Donnington Priory

July’s Exceptional Fine Pictures Sale at Donnington Priory features Munnings, Frederick Herring Snr, & a group of Old Masters from a Scottish Private Collection

Following the success of the Fine Pictures Sale in March, Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions continue to build and uphold the reputation of their picturesque Donnington Priory saleroom as a destination for exceptional, privately sourced paintings, and present the Fine Pictures Sale on Wednesday 8th July. The auction, includes a Sir Alfred James Munnings estimated at £600,000-800,000 alongside a study attributed to Jacob Jordaens and works by Carlo Bonavia, John Frederick Herring the Elder, Augustus Edwin John, Jean Discart and Félix Ziem.

Munnings' Going to The Meet, Captain F.G. Chamerlin and his sister on Household Heath, Norwich, 1907,
Munnings’ Going to The Meet, Captain F.G. Chamerlin and his sister on Household Heath, Norwich, 1907,
George Bailey, Dreweatts Chairman said; “Our July Fine Pictures Sale demonstrates our strengths at Donnington Priory; the appointment of James Harvey, Head of Traditional Art, together with the refurbishment of our salerooms has reinstated Dreweatts as the leading auction house for selling private country house collections. We are proud to have collated such a remarkable sale and look forward to seeing the department and saleroom grow further.”

Leading the sale is Munnings’ Going to The Meet, Captain F.G. Chamerlin and his sister on Household Heath, Norwich, 1907, one of the largest and most ambitious commissioned paintings that the artist undertook. Munnings’ reputation as a painter of hunting scenes had already begun to be established when he executed this work in 1905 and following its exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1907, confirmed his status as one of England’s finest painters of horses [Lot 86, estimate £600,000-800,000].

From a private Scottish collection is a head study or tronie, attributed to Jacob Jordaens (1593-1678), Study of an old woman’s head, looking upwards to her left, wearing a white bonnet. Head studies, such as the present example were a traditional working method in Flemish painting that would later be used by the artist as a model for larger compositions.

It is likely that the present study and sitter were used by Jordaens on several occasions and in various compositions. Similar types of heads of old women appear throughout Jordaens’s body of work, and similar characters can be spotted in his paintings, including The Bean King (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel), amongst others [Lot 39, estimate £10,000-15,000].

The sale will also include an estuary scene by Carlo Bonavia (1740-1759), View from Miseno, looking across the Mare Morto. Trained in the Neopolitan landscape tradition, and influenced greatly by the work of Claude Joseph Vernet (1714-1789), Bonavia developed a characteristic rococo palette of soft hues, which he employed alongside capricci (whimsical or fantastical scenes), to achieve his distinctive atmospheric landscapes that were highly prized by Grand Tourists of the time [Lot 41, estimate £20,000-30,000].

Six watercolours by English East India Company officer, Julius Middelton Boyd (1837-1919) also feature in the sale. The collection of watercolours are worked up from on the spot sketches that Boyd executed while stationed in Western India during the mid-19th century. The sketches are part of an album of 36 drawings of landscapes and monuments mainly in Bombay and Western India, also Rajasthan and Central India. The present album of six works relates to a collection in the British Library. There has not been a watercolour on the market of India by Boyd since 2008, when a large watercolour view of a Hindu Temple sold in New York for $47,000 [Lots 247-252, each estimated at £4,000-6,000].

Elsewhere in the sale a Portrait of a lady, by Augustus Edwin John (1878-1961) [Lot 163, estimate £6,000-8,000], Jean Discart’s, Loading the Gun, from a private UK collection [Lot 144, estimate £4,000-6,000] and a study for Fall of the Rebel Angels attributed to Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) [Lot 10, estimate £3,000-5,000].