The inaugural Sporting Art Sale at Tennants Auctioneers on 11th January saw buoyant prices across the board, proving the popularity of the subject matter. A mixture of period paintings and modern and contemporary works attracted a crowd of eager buyers to the packed salerooms.
Amongst a raft of strong results was a charming painting by Anthony de Bree (1855-1921) of ‘Faithful servant Charlie’, a grey horse in its stable, which sold for an impressive £8,200 (plus buyer’s premium), well above what the artist usually makes. A striking modern seascape by Keith Shackleton MBE (1923-2015) raised a few hands too, selling for £7,200 (plus buyer’s premium).
The sale also saw the first tranche of animal sculptures from the Estate of Sally Arnup being sold, which attracted international interest. The top lot was a bronze of a Bloodhound, which beat the top estimate to sell for £4,000 (plus buyer’s premium). Further sculptures from the York artist will be included in the Modern & Contemporary Art Sale on 29th February.
The top lot of the sale was Sir Francis Grant (1803-1878) 'Home for the Holidays', a portrait of the artist's son, which sold for £27,500 (plus buyer's premium). Related was the ‘Portrait of Sir Francis Grant on Grindal’ by John Ferneley Snr (1782-1860), which sold for £15,000 (plus buyer’s premium). With the portrait head painted by Grant himself, and with provenance from the sitter’s estate it was a prime example of traditional English Sporting Art. Further good traditional works included ‘A gentleman riding out with his Spaniel’ by Francis Sartorius (1734-1804), which sold for £4,200 (plus buyer’s premium), and ‘The River Dee’ by Alfred de Breanski Snr (1852-1928), which sold for £3,500 (plus buyer’s premium).
Fishing proved a popular subject matter, with competitive bidding boosting prices. One of the most sought-after fishing lots was an oil on canvas ‘Stanley Water, River Tay’ by Norman Wilkinson (1878-1971), which sold for £4,800 (plus buyer’s premium) against an estimate of £200-300.
At a traditionally quiet time of the year, Tennants Auctioneers achieved an impressive hammer total of just under £500,000 for a trio of sales on Saturday 11th January. The combined forces of the Country House Sale, the Sporting Art Sale and the Jewellery, Watches and Silver sale drew hordes of bidders to the North Yorkshire salerooms.