SOLD! for $4,000.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
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- Low Estimate: $1,200.00
- High Estimate: $1,400.00
- Realized: $4,000.00
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Oil on canvas equestrian portrait depicting a dapple-grey hunter in a hilly landscape set against a cloudy sunset or sunrise sky. Signed lower left, "John Ferneley," (British, 1782-1860). Handwriting on the rear of the frame suggests a possible identity of the horse: "The Hermit by Greyskin, Mount of Charles Davis (died 1867), Huntsman to the Royal Buckhounds." Housed in a period giltwood frame. Sight: 29 1/2" W x 24 1/2" H. Frame: 34 1/4" W by 29 1/8" H. Early/Mid-19th century. Note: Hermit was the mount of the legendary British equestrian Charles Davis, Huntsman to Her Majesty Queen Victoria and First Whip of The Royal Buckhounds from 1821 until 1866. Charles Davis is featured in the 1897 book "The Queen's Hounds and Stag-hunting Recollections" by Baron Thomas Lister Ribblesdale and Edward Burrows. The book features illustrations of Charles Davis astride Hermit. Hermit is mentioned in the text as Davis's favorite mount. Davis is depicted riding Hermit in several paintings by other artists. Biographical note: John Ferneley, Sr. was born on 18 May 1782 at Thrussington, Leicestershire. By the time of his death in Melton Mowbray in 1860, he was regarded as one of the great British animal painters, specializing in horses, prize sheep, and cattle. He opened his studio in Melton Mowbray which was fast becoming a center for fashionable country sports particularly fox hunting. Painting in Melton during the hunting season, he also toured around the great estates of England and Ireland, painting landowners' horses, cattle, sheep, and hounds. His work became much sought after and his patrons included members of British and European Royal families and personalities such as Beau Brummel and the Count d'Orsay. He depicted Charles Davis on another mount in at least one painting (source: Leicestershire Country Council Museum Collections).
PROVENANCE: The Estate of Pia Stratton, Nashville, Tennessee.
CONDITION: A 1/8" puncture slit in upper center, along upper edge of cloud, has no pigment loss. Scattered overpainting throughout, primarily in background and in 11" x 7" area of sky, upper right quadrant. 20" x 4" liquid stain to right edge, en verso, not visible on painting's recto. Frame has minor, scattered scuffs commensurate with age. 1 1/2" x 1/2" area of gilt loss to top left of frame is not visible frontally.