Cup Tie at Crystal Palace, Corinthians V Manchester City, 1926 by Charles Cundall, £100,000 at Bonhams.

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Running online only from December 4-13, Football: The Beautiful Game Sale featured more than more than 100 works and over 50 artists from the early 19th century to the present day.

The single-owner collection was assembled by art dealer Chris Beetles of Chris Beetles Gallery “on behalf of the chairman for an FA Cup winning team”. Now in his 80s, he decided to sell.

Works from this group have been shown in prestigious exhibitions and institutions including Football and the Fine Arts organised by the Football Association in 1953 and The Arts Council of Great Britain. Theys have also been published in numerous books, magazines and newspapers.

At the palace

Top-seller was A Cup Tie at Crystal Palace, Corinthians V Manchester City 1926 by Charles Cundall (1890-1971) which had been guided at £100,000-150,000 and sold at the low estimate.

This oil on panel signed C. Cundall lower right, inscribed with title and 1-3 and dated 9 January 1926 on a label verso, measured 23in x 2ft 5in (59 x 75cm). It had sold to Beetles for £42,000 at Christie’s South Kensington in March 2003.

Cundall worked as a designer for Pilkington’s Pottery Company under Gordon Forsyth and later studied at Manchester School of Art and Royal College of Art, 1912. After First World War Army service was at Slade School of Fine Art, 1919-20, and in Paris. He travelled widely and became noted for his panoramic pictures.

His first first solo show was held at Colnaghi in 1927. He became an Official War Artist in the Second World War.

The stadium at Crystal Palace Park in south London stood in the shadow of the enormous glass structure originally constructed for the 1851 Great Exhibition in Hyde Park (it was moved three years later to south London but burned down in 1936. The area was renamed Crystal Palace). This ground was used for FA Cup Finals from 1895-1914. The professional Crystal Palace FC played here from 1905-15 until forced to move by the military to nearby Selhurst Park.

Corinthian FC was an amateur club based in London from 1882- 1939, famous for championing fair play. The crowd to see them take on then first division Man City in this third round tie in January 1926 was a mighty 42,000. After a 3-3 draw City won the replay 4-0.

Into the valley


Here they Come! The Valley by Stanley Roy Badmin, £15,000 at Bonhams.

Many of the works offered at higher estimates struggled to get away.

However, another stadium highlight was a pen, ink, and watercolour by Stanley Roy Badmin (1906-89), Here they Come! The Valley, showing Charlton Athletic’s south London ground for a match against Arsenal. Estimated at £7000-10,000, it took £15,000. The picture had sold at Bonhams in London in December 1999.


Jacksons’ Always Score by Louis Wain, £7500 at Bonhams.

On different themes, a Louis Wain (1860-1939) work Jacksons’ Always Score showing footballing cats sold for £7500 (estimate £6000-8000) and a Ronald Searle (1920-2011) caricature pen and ink depiction of the reluctant Molesworth with the ball at his feet, Molesworth Back in the Jug Agane, offered with an estimate of £3000-4000, made £7000.


Molesworth Back in the Jug Agane by Ronald Searle, £7000 at Bonhams.