As the festive season commences many of us are wondering what thoughtful gifts our loved ones would like to find wrapped up under the Christmas tree this year. Buying art at auction is a brilliant place to start if you are looking for that special gift, which is unique and memorable. Our Art Online auction offers just that and with prices ranging from £10 - £1,500 there is something to suit everyone’s budget.
Francesca Whitham, picture specialist at Dreweatts, has pulled together her Christmas Wishlist with her five favourite lots under £1,000 within our forthcoming Art Online auction which takes place on Friday 8 December.
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1. Jan Jansz. Van Der Stoffe, ‘Cavalry Skirmish’
This Cavalry Skirmish by Leiden based artist Jan Jansz. Van der Stoffe dates to 1671 and was painted towards the end of his career. The artist focused intently on battle scenes throughout his career, repeating motifs and movement in his studies, capturing different angles and moments through the action of the battle. Similar studies to the present lot show the white horse in the foreground when he was standing with rider on back, another shows the fallen hat in a different location. The artist successfully draws the viewer in, making you feel as if you are part of the action and in the thick of the battle. I particularly love the plumes of dust that are spread across the panel, kicked up by the horses and the scuffle of the battle.
Lot 15: Jan Jansz. Van Der Stoffe (Dutch 1611-1682), Cavalry Skirmish, Oil on panel | Est. £800-1,200 (+ fees)
2. Bolognese School, ‘Susanna and The Elders’
This charming 18th century oil on copper perfectly captures the well-known biblical story from the Book of Daniel that has been depicted throughout art history, most famously by Artemisia Gentileschi. The scene illustrates two prying elders who are spying on a young married Jewish woman. After she refuses their advances, they accuse her of adultery. Condemned to death Susanna is saved by the prophet Daniel who intervenes. The work is signed with initials G.B. and dated 1751. The hands are painted with great delicacy and the translucency of the waterspout that gushes from the stone lion’s mouth is particularly impressive.
Lot 27: Bolognese School (18th Century), Susanna and The Elders, Oil on copper | Est. £200-300 (+ fees)
3. Bertram Nicholls, ‘The Bridge at Blandford’
Entering the river landscape from across the water gives an amazing view of the reflections showing the gate house which sits on the bridge at Blandford. The neutral colour palette creates a calm and peaceful atmosphere working in different shades of greens. The provenance behind this work of art is particularly interesting. During the Second World War, Mrs Ferguson (grandmother of Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York) and her friend, the present owner's mother, would drive a cantina around Hampshire providing refreshment such as tea to the troops. Mrs Ferguson later gifted the present lot to her friend, and it has remained in the same family ever since. The work was exhibited at The Fine Art Society in 1942.
λ Lot 125: Bertram Nicholls (British 1883 - 1974), The Bridge at Blandford, Oil on canvas | Est. £400-600 (+ fees)
4. John Chase, ‘Walter Scott's Burial Place, Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland’
Calling all poetry lovers and history enthusiasts. Travel with me to Dryburgh Abbey in Scotland to visit Walter Scott’s burial place through the detailed and impressive watercolour painted by British artist John Chase. The stone steps lead up and through the ruined arch where two figures peer through the opened gate. As fashions change, prices for watercolours have reduced over the last decade. However, we still see a strong market for watercolours in good condition, with strong colour and interesting subject matter. The condition of Lot 109 together with the unusual and collectible subject matter makes this a remarkable watercolour suitable for many collectors.
Lot 109: John Chase (British 1810-1879), Walter Scott's Burial Place, Dryburgh Abbey, Scotland, Watercolour and Bodycolour | Est. £400-600 (+ fees)
5. Francis Kelly, ‘Sunbath’
Sunbath by Francis Kelly depicts a female nude lying propped up on her elbows with her dark hair pulled back in a bun. The figure glances over her left shoulder looking into the far distance, appearing unaware of any onlookers. Strong angular lines, using a grey colour palette, build up the background juxtaposed against the soft smooth lines used to create her body that fills the centre section of the canvas. The bidding starts at £10 with a guide estimate of £40-60.
λ Lot 148: Francis Kelly (British 1927-2012), Sunbath, Oil on canvas | Est. £40-60 (+ fees)
Friday 8 December | 10.30am GMT
Donnington Priory, Newbury, Berkshire, RG14 2JE
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