19th Century British Art

This sector includes Romantic painting, Victorian art, British Orientalism and Pre-Raphaelite art.


Traditional demand lifts bidding in provinces

01 April 2004

WITH a name like the Old Picture Palace, the former cinema in Matlock that is the newly acquired saleroom of the Derby auctioneers Bamfords (15% buyer’s premium) should be the sort of venue where the more traditional end of the art market should feel at home.

Another five-figure bid underlines Jane Vivian as a name to notice

23 March 2004

The well-worn cliché about everyone in the trade wanting to buy the same few pictures was certainly in evidence at the March 9 sale of British and Continental pictures at Bonhams (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) at Knightsbridge when this highly commercial oil-on-canvas view of the Piazzatta, Venice, indistinctly signed Viviani, came under the hammer with a highly tempting estimate of £2000-3000.

Roses’ bloom has faded, but not blown over

23 March 2004

FIFTEEN or so years ago works by the likes of Helen Allingham (1848-1926) and the Stannards of Bedfordshire had the sweet smell of success all over them. However, in more recent times the general consensus is that watercolours of this genre, which I loosely describe as “roses round the cottage door”, have slipped from favour.

The problem of identifying bonafide Boningtons…

23 March 2004

Illustrated in colour on the catalogue cover of Clevedon Salerooms’ March 4 sale was a watercolour described as being by Richard Parkes Bonington (1801-1828).

When Newlyn is still a prize catch...

16 March 2004

WITH collectors’ taste in Modern British art shifting in recent years from pre-war to post-war, the once all-conquering Newlyn School has not generated as many headline-stealing results as it did in the late 1980s.

Bonhams get middle market mix right

09 March 2004

WITH thousands of middle-class homes being turned into white boxes every week, how on earth can English auctioneers sustain the market for middle-of-the-road Victorian pictures?

A shocking dog story in paint…

13 February 2004

Dead animals are usually regarded as a major commercial no-no in a painting, as is excessive size. It was therefore hardly a surprise that a recently restored and relined 5ft 10in by 8ft (1.78 x 2.44m) Richard Ansdell (1815-1885) canvas featuring a dead wolf and a dying dog did not exactly inspire a blizzard of bids when it came under the hammer at Maxwells of Wilmslow on January 23.

Scot tops the international scene at Sussex sale

13 February 2004

Scottish, Greek and Australian subjects gave a welcome international feel to the main highlights among the pictures offered on the third day of Gorringes’ (15% buyer’s premium) January 27-29 sale in Lewes.

Back among provincial beauties...

09 July 2003

Victorian painter Sophie Anderson (1823-1903), who specialised in heart-warming female figure studies, appears rather infrequently on the market, but a Hampshire religious institution furnished the Lewes branch of Gorringe’s (15% buyer’s premium) with two good quality, signed half-length female subjects in untouched condition for their June 12 picture sale.

Record for Constable in battle for Victory

08 April 2003

“AS extreme as always with focused bidding on the key lots,” was Victorian specialist Grant Ford’s frank description of the selective response to Sotheby’s (20/12% buyer’s premium) mid-season British Sale at Bond Street.

Ireland’s Gothic vandalism

26 March 2003

Gothic Art in Ireland 1169-1550: Enduring Vitality, by Colum Hourihane, Yale University Press. ISBN 0300094353 £45.00 hb (publication date April 17).

Reynolds portrait of Omai faces export ban

06 January 2003

THE Tate Gallery has launched a campaign to raise £12.5m to acquire Sir Joshua Reynolds’ celebrated portrait of Omai, the South Sea Islander who took London Society by storm in the 18th century.

Bringing in a guaranteed harvest in Home Counties stockbroker belt

06 December 2002

Over the last year or so there have been some worryingly disappointing results at London and New York auctions of 19th century British and Continental pictures. Bidding in London at Bonhams’ (17.5/10% buyer’s premium) November 19 sale of 19th Century Paintings, however, exhibited some much-welcomed signs of renewed solidity, with 64 per cent of the 182 lots finding buyers.

Top-end Victorian art feels the pinch

02 December 2002

The market for high-value Victorian pictures took a downturn last week when Christie’s and Sotheby’s Important British Picture sales posted some worryingly high levels of bought-ins.

Long lost – and found

21 November 2002

The paintings of Edwin Long (1829-1891) are well known to London’s gallery visitors, since there are works by him in both the National Portrait Gallery and the Royal Academy, but many of his works have long been lost or forgotten.

How Smith made Moyr of a name for himself

08 October 2002

John Moyr Smith 1839-1912: A Victorian Designer, by Annamarie Stapleton, published by Richard Dennis Publications. ISBN 0903685841 £18sb (ISBN 0903685876 £22hb)

Dispute keeps lost Blakes under cover

09 September 2002

A second hand bookshop in Glasgow and two dealers are locked in a legal dispute over the ownership of a lost cache of William Blake watercolours, valued at over £1m.

Green bags the top shot at Gleneagles

03 September 2002

This large Highland hunting landscape by John Frederick Herring Senior proved to be the highlight of Sotheby’s annual auction series held last week at the Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, when it sold for £470,000 (plus 19.5/10% premium) to London dealer Richard Green Fine Art bidding on the phone.

Highlands near high point

29 August 2002

ON July 23 Bristol Auction Rooms (15% buyer’s premium) took the second highest price at auction for an oil by Hampshire artist Henry Garland (1854-1900). Back in December 1998 Bonhams Knightsbridge took a premium- inclusive £12,650 for the 3ft 4in by 5ft 7in (1.02 x 1.70m) oil Village Gossips.

Hole in one for Scottish gallery

24 July 2002

JUST as the world’s top golfers were teeing off for The Open at Muirfield last week, Scotland was celebrating another hole in one. Grants totalling more than £2m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the National Arts Collection Fund, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews and private benefactors meant that the Scottish National Portrait Gallery could acquire the nation’s most important golfing painting, Charles Lees’ (1800-1880) oil on canvas, The Golfers (1847).

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