A classic work by famed equestrian artist Sir Alfred Munnings has topped a British auction, with The Bramham Moor Hounds at Weeton Whin fetching £2,171,250 at Christie’s in London recently.
The piece was among several by Munnings to feature in the sale, and auction house experts estimated that it would fetch between £1.5 million and £2 million.
Other pieces sold included Ned Osborne on ‘Grey Tick’, Zennor Hill, Cornwall, which was estimated to sell for between £150,000 and £250,000; this fetched £162,500; Winter Sunshine: huntsman by a covert (est. £150,000-£250,000) which fetched 225,000; and A high wind, Exmoor (recto) and Studies of Exmoor ponies (verso) (est. £15,000 – £25,000), which sold for £23,750.
Another, The Green Waggon was estimated between £300,000 and £500,000 but sold for £335,250.
Sir Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) was one of the finest British Impressionist painters of the 20th century. His life — which was spent mainly in Constable Country in the village of Dedham, on the Suffolk-Essex border — is reflected in a body of work that largely depicts rural scenes, racing and hunting, and most commonly his favourite animal, the horse.
His consummate skill in equine portraiture stemmed from a childhood spent admiring and sketching horses at his parents’ Suffolk mill. Today, his horse paintings remain among his most celebrated and collectable works.