On Horses and Hounds

by Editorial

Sotheby’s Dec. 5 sale will boast a masterwork by John Frederick Herring Sr. (1795-1865), one of the most significant painters of racehorses in England during the early- to mid-1800s. The Earl of Chesterfield’s Industry with W. Scott Up and Caroline Elvina with C. Edwards Up in a Paddock, dated 1838, is a classic example of the artist’s signature style. Herring had a very prolific career and one in which he was commissioned to paint pictures for the duc d’Orléans, the son of King Louis-Philippe, as well as the Duchess of Kent and Queen Victoria. For a man who started his career as a sign painter, he would achieve great commercial success, especially with multiple engravings of his portraits of winning thoroughbreds at St. Leger and the Derby. Sotheby’s offering is marked by Herring’s skill in depicting the elegance of the majestic racehorse through the elongation of the bodies of both the rider and his mount. The jockeys, set astride the thoroughbreds dressed in their racing silks, are posed effortlessly against a skillfully painted landscape; the magnificent play of light on the horses gleaming coats and upon the ground pay tribute to the years the artist spent honing his technical skills. Estimated to fetch between $550,000 and $750,000, this work is sure to capture the attention of serious collectors and museum curators.

Interested bidders can view both catalogues for the Sporting Art sales on Sotheby’s and Christie’s websites under the categories of upcoming auctions.

Readers wishing to get in touch with Renée Drake can email: columns@vps3.washingtonlife.com.

Auction Notes
On Oct. 14, Christie’s Paris auctioned nearly 600 lots from the estate of the Comte de Paris, the late pretender to the French throne, and his wife and cousin, Isabelle d’Orléans-Braganza, Comtesse de Paris. Top lots changing hands in the $3.2 million sale included a wallet embroidered by Marie Antoinette while she was in captivity in Paris’ Temple Prison, a lock of Louis XVI’s hair, the pen Louis-Philippe used to sign his abdication in 1848, plus royal seals, portraits, silver, furniture and jewels.

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