Published: May 23, 2023
Review by Madelia Hickman Ring, Photos Courtesy Doyle
NEW YORK CITY — Timing is everything, particularly when it comes to scheduling an auction. The same weekend dog lovers were tuning in to watch the 147th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show — which happened to be when equine enthusiasts were topping off their mint juleps and placing final bets for the 149th running of the Kentucky Derby — Doyle previewed its Dogs In Art and Sporting Art sale, which gaveled down May 10. It was the first time since 2009 that the house conducted the popular sale, a long-standing sale typically conducted in conjunction with the Kennel Club’s annual show.
Of the 154 lots that trotted across the auction block, 90 percent found new homes and the sale tallied $170,814, squarely in the middle of an approximate aggregate low/high estimate of $130/200,000. Shani Toledano, Doyle’s vice president, associate director of paintings and the specialist in charge of the sale, said, “As in years past, we saw competition from both sides of the Atlantic and were delighted with the sale results. It is always interesting to see how passionate privates are about collecting paintings of a particular dog breed.”
Though the sale was top heavy with fine art, the “best in show” honorific went to a Black Forest carved wood umbrella stand, in the form of a seated dog with branch-form umbrella holder, which topped off at $25,200, easily covering its $4/6,000 estimate.
“We knew it would do well,” Toledano said, noting that it generated a lot of interest from both American and international bidders; in the end a private collector in the United States had the winning bid.
An American private collector was also the most-determined bidder for a painting of wire fox terriers by Maud Earl (British/American, 1864-1943), which nearly doubled its high estimate and sold for $10,080. The 1899 oil on canvas had provenance to the collections of Richard D. Hammond and Shirlee and Lawrence Kalstone and had not only been exhibited in an exhibition of Earl’s work at the William Secord Gallery in 1992 but was also illustrated in two of Secord’s publications: Dog Painting, 1840-1940 (New York, 1992) and Dog Painting, A History of the Dog in Art (New York, 2009).
The third highest price of $5,670 was shared by two works. The first to achieve it was James Hardy II’s (British, 1832-1889) “Guarding the Day’s Bag (A Gordon and an English Setter),” which sold to a buyer overseas. About 50 lots further into the sale, the second to hit that mark was “Highland Beauties (Skye Terriers up to Mischief)” by Arthur Wardle (British, 1864-1949), which depicted two dogs and a broken flower vase and had provenance to two auctions.
Sporting art made its way onto the leaderboard at $4,095 with two works: a duck hunting scene by James Craig Nicoll (American, 1846-1918) and the first of several racing portraits, “Alcazar” by Thomas Percy Earl (British, 1874-1947). Other high equine results include a Nineteenth Century British School portrait of “West Australian” that ran to $1,638 and three pictures that realized $1,260: “The Ugly Buck” by TC Freeman (British, Nineteenth Century) and “Jewell,” which was signed by both J. Carleton Wiggins (American, 1848-1932) and Marie Guise Newcomb (American, 1865-1895). The third picture at this level was a dynamic and colorful watercolor and gouache picture by modern British painter John Rattenbury Skeaping (1901-1980).
A representative for the auction house said the firm hoped to continue the “Dogs in Art” auction in the future.
Prices quoted include the buyer’s premium. For additional information, 212-427-2730 or www.doylenewyork.com
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
September 19, 2023
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