News & Insights

Sporting Art in Demand

24th September 2020.

Sporting Art was in demand at Tennants Auctioneers in the sale on 19th September, when strong prices were achieved across the board for both period and contemporary pieces, with a high percentage of private buyers.

This was exemplified by the two top lots of the sale, one traditional and one modern, which each realised a hammer price of £7,000 (all prices quoted exclude buyer’s premium). ‘The Middleton Hunt’ by John Ferneley Jr (1815-1862) depicting the famed hunt near Birdsall in East Yorkshire, being led by MFH Mr T Carter and accompanied by Sir Tatton Sykes of nearby Sledmere. The son of famed sporting artist John Ferneley Snr, Ferneley Jr moved to Yorkshire in 1839, presumably due to the large number of patrons in good hunting country. The painting was purchased at Christie’s in London in 1952 for 178.10.0 gns. The Ferneley was joined at the top of the results table by a bronze by Martin Hayward-Harris (b.1959) of a Diving Otter. Both works were sold to private buyers.

Further highlights included ‘Bay hunter with Harry Land up, standing in an extensive landscape’ by Wright Barker (1864-1941), which sold for £6,000 against an estimate of £2,500-4,000. Wright Barker was known for his paintings of hunting and animal subjects; born in Bradford, he spent much of his life in the South of England before moving to Harrogate.

Works on paper sold strongly too, with a selection of signed prints by Charles Johnson Payne or “Snaffles” achieving good prices. Highlights included his ‘A Little Fizzer’, which sold for £650, and "Tonnage - and when Hounds really run, can show how sixteen stone should o'er a country go", which sold for £500.

Good lots of contemporary Sporting Art that performed well above estimate included Jonathan Armigel Wade’s ‘Off the Stubble’ (sold for £2,500), Sally Arnup’s bronze of a ‘Gypsie’s Foal’ (sold for £1,600), and Roger McPhail’s ‘A Salmon jumping in the River Lune near Hornby’ (sold for £1,300).

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