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Back on July 26 2001 the Edwards’ oil The Quorn from Ellas Gorse took a record £75,500 at the Leicester rooms of Heathcote Ball (15% buyer’s premium). On that occasion, the purchaser was a local industrialist underbid by Richard Green and when another Edwards’ oil, The Quorn running into Hoby Vale with Hoby Clump in the rear, shown right, was offered on April 25, the situation was reserved with the industrialist the underbidder and Green’s son Jonathan, bidding in the room, the successful buyer.

Leicester, of course, is hunting country and the late John Ball, senior partner at Heathcote Ball until his death in February following a fall while riding with the Fernie Hunt, was known to all the hunting fraternity. Specialist-in-charge James Lees recalls: “John also hunted with the Quorn and because of his connection with the hunting field he had a wealth of ready purchasers for sporting and equine art.”

Indeed the firm’s reputation had spread from the East Midlands to Scotland from where The Quorn running into Hoby Vale ... was consigned after passing to the vendor by descent from Captain Jack Gilbey, a patron and friend of Lionel Edwards.

With the Quorn being such a famous hunt, and with this 20in by 2ft 6in (51 x 76cm) re-lined canvas being in “gallery order” James Lees was confident it would exceed top hopes of £50,000 which it did when Jonathan Green took it at £60,000.