A battered copper weathervane of the influential thoroughbred stallion Lexington is expected to be among the top-selling equestrian lots at the ninth annual Sporting Art Auction in Kentucky this weekend.
The unrestored lot is among 192 pieces of art being offered for sale at the Keeneland sales pavilion in Lexington on Sunday, November 21 at 1pm (EST). It is expected to fetch up to $US35,000.
The hollow-body Lexington weathervane has a cast zinc head is attributed to the New York maker A.B. & W.T. Westervelt, and dates to the last quarter of the 19th century. It has a rich natural verdigris surface (the natural patina formed when copper is weathered) from a long tenure exposed to the elements, and several bullet holes.
This vane, illustrated in the Westervelt 1883 catalog, titled Lexington, was almost certainly the stylistic inspiration for Kenneth Lynch’s vane of Nashua, which tops the Keeneland sales pavilion.
Bred by Dr Elisha Warfield near Lexington, Kentucky, Lexington was by Boston, out of Alice Carneal. The winner of six of his seven starts on the track, he had even greater influence at stud. He was the most successful sire of the second half of the 19th century and was the leading North American sire 16 times.
A member of the inaugural class of the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, his bloodline still lives on today through his daughters. Spendthrift, Hanover, Himyar, Holy Bull, Mucho Macho Man, and Tiznow are just some of his descendants.
Works by famed artists such as Sir Alfred Munnings, John Skeaping, John Frederick Herring Sr and Jr, Lionel Edwards, and Harry Hall, are being presented alongside prices from contemporary artists such as Richard Stone Reeves, Peter Curling and Andre Pater. Sports such as racing, hunting and polo are portrayed, in art and sculpture.
Other featured pieces include Irish painter Sir William Orpen’s Sergeant Murphy & Things, a 29½” x 40” oil on canvas that depicts the winner of the 1923 Grand National, Andy Warhol’s Willie Shoemaker, a 40” x 40” unique silkscreen portrait of the Hall of Fame jockey and Morris Park Handicap, 1900, a 25” x 40” oil on canvas by noted American artist Henry Stull of Maid of Harlem’s stunning upset of champion Ethelbert.
The sale is a collaboration between the Cross Gate Gallery and the Keeneland Association, with Keeneland’s portion of the auction proceeds benefitting its non-profit initiatives, including the Keeneland Library Foundation.
The highest price expected is for a pair of pictures by Polish/American artist Andre Pater titled War and ‘Peace’. Lot 157, the offering has a pre-auction estimate of between $75,000 and $US100,000.