Tuesday 27 February 2024

Lot 222

John Boultbee, British 1753-1812-  Portraits of a roan mare and stallion in expansive landscapes...

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Lot 222

John Boultbee, 
British 1753-1812- 
Portraits of a roan mare and stallion in expansive landscapes...

Price Realised: £13,120

Estimate: £6,000 - £9,000

Price realised is hammer price plus fees (31.2% Buyers Premium inclusive of VAT).

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Lot 222


John Boultbee, 
British 1753-1812- 

Portraits of a roan mare and stallion in expansive landscapes with buildings beyond; 

oil on canvas, the first signed and dated 'Boultbee 1805' (lower left), the second signed and dated 'J Boultbee 1805' (lower right), 70.9 x 91 cm., a pair (2). 

Private Collection, UK. 

John Boultbee was born in Leicestershire in 1753, and in the 1770s travelled to London to train as an artist, together with his twin brother Thomas (1753-1808), who, like John, would also become a well-known painter of horses. It is believed that in London the Boultbee twins were introduced to Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) by their grandfather, the Reverend Thomas Boultbee, whose portrait Reynolds had previously painted. 

Boultbee’s artistic style was influenced by the works of Sawrey Gilpin (1733-1807) and George Stubbs (1724-1806), and he gained recognition for his depictions of animals and equestrian scenes. Out of the six paintings that he exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1776 and 1788, five were horse-portraits. 

Boultbee enjoyed the patronage of prominent figures such as the Earl of Derby (1752-1834), the Earl of Egremont (1751-1837), Lord Spencer (1758-1834), and the pioneering agriculturalist Robert Bakewell (1726-1795). The artist's talent and skill were also highly regarded by King George III (1738-1820), who commissioned a number of horse paintings from Boultbee, and who even granted him a residence in Windsor Great Park as a mark of appreciation. 

These two portraits exemplify Boultbee’s approach, characterised by the artist’s meticulous attention to detail in portraying the horses’ anatomy and musculature, and the gleam of their coats. Boultbee worked as a landscape as well as an equestrian artist, which is evident in the closely observed and highly detailed, sweeping landscapes which form their backdrop. In the present portraits, Boultbee also skillfully captures the animals’ individual personalities through his rendering of their faces and in particular their eyes, which appear to peer out of the canvas at the viewer. The two portraits form a harmonious pair, almost akin to a portrait pair of a married couple, with one depicting a stallion and the other a mare. A similarly majestic and dignified portrait by Boultbee can be found in the collection of the National Trust at Dunham Massey [932270]. 

Buyer's Premium

The buyer shall pay the hammer price together with a premium thereon of 26% up to £20,000 (31.2% inclusive of VAT), 25% from £20,001 - £500,000 (30% inclusive of VAT), 20% from £500,001 thereafter (24% inclusive of VAT). The premium price is subject to VAT at the standard rate.

VAT is not charged on the hammer price unless it is stated that there is 'VAT applicable on the hammer price at the end of the description. Buyer's premium is subject to VAT.

Qualifying living artists and the descendants of artists deceased within the last 70 years are entitled to receive a re-sale royalty each time their work is bought through an auction house or art market professional.

It applies to lots with hammer value over €1,000 as follows:
0 to €50,000 - 4%, €50,000.01 to €200,000 - 3%
€200,000.01 to €350,000 - 1%,
€350,000.01 to €500,000 - 0.5%
Exceeding €500,000 - 0.25%
ARR is capped at €12,500

Please note ARR is calculated in euros. Auctioneers will apply current exchange rates.

Export of goods

Buyers intending to export goods should ascertain whether an export licence is required before bidding. Export licences are issued by Arts Council England and application forms can be obtained from its Export Licensing Unit. Details can be found on the ACE website www.artscouncil.org.uk or by phoning ACE on 020 7973 5188. The need for import licences varies from country to country and you should acquaint yourself with all relevant local requirements and provisions before bidding. The refusal of any such licences shall not permit the cancelling of any sale nor allow any delay in making full payment for the lot.

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