Royal artists’s dog portraits offered at Bonhams New York sale

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2015-06-26 10:46:31

Royal artists’s dog portraits offered at Bonhams New York sale

The forthcoming Bonhams auction in New York, entitled ‘Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale’, will feature a selection of 31 canine paintings from the notable English artist Reuben Ward Binks.

Binks, born in 1850 in Halliwell, Bolton, studied at the Manchester Art School and began his professional career with a series of portraits of sporting dogs commissioned by the Countess of Howe.

The quality of these works, combined with the considerable social connections and patronage of the Countess, led Binks to specialise in the field and build a successful career as a canine artist.

He went on to paint numerous animal portraits for members of the British Royal family, such as Clumber spaniels for George V, Cairn terriers for Edward VIII, retrievers for George VI and King Edward VII’s terrier Caesar. He often attended the Royal Shoots at Sandringham, and sketched the sporting dogs as they worked. Throughout his career he received many Royal commissions, and was rewarded for his work with the gift of a signed Van Dyke portrait from George V.

The collection of paintings is expected to raise up to $21,000 in total, with works including a painting of King George V’s Clumber spaniels at Sandringham valued at $1,200-1,800, Gordon Setters in a Highland landscape priced at $800-1,200 and Six Otterhounds in a river estimated at $800-1,200.

Sam Travers of Bonhams 19th Century Pictures department stated:

“The selection of Ward Binks paintings we are lucky enough to have in this sale demonstrate what a good draughtsman he was and how he had the technical skill necessary to work at speed in order to convey the immediacy of the hunt and the fleeting moments that reveal character in his canine subjects. He has become a much loved and much sought after artist and his links with major historical figures only underline the fact that he was one of the most gifted canine artists of his generation - the lots in our upcoming auction are a fine testament to this and we expect there to be lots of interest.”

The auction is set to take place at Bonhams New York saleroom on February 15.

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