Follower of Canaletto in Gloucestershire sale

A major painting by a follower of Canaletto is set to go under the hammer with an estimate of £30,000 to £40,000 at a Gloucestershire auction this month.

The oil painting is entitled The Bucintoro returning to the Molo on Ascension Day, Venice/oil on canvas, 73.75cm x 125.75cm and is by a Follower of Giovanni Antonio Canal, called Canaletto (Italian, 1697-1768).

The Bucintoro returning to the Molo on Ascension Day

The stunning work is perhaps attributable to the British painter William James (act. 1730-1780). On Canaletto’s 1754 trip to England, James was one of the legendary painter’s studio assistants, after which James continued to work in the Canaletto style selling to wealthy clients as mementos of their Grand Tour.

The painting leads the sale, which also features the principal contents of a country house in Gloucestershire, which has been in the ownership of the current family for 90 years.

The sale at Chorley’s on September 22 and 23 sees a selection of traditional country house antiques from the estate including oil paintings, furniture and decorative objects go under the hammer.

Some of the other significant and interesting lots include:

Indian water colour paintings

  • An album of Indian watercolours painted in Patna in the mid-19th Century. The album of 75 watercolours depicting tradespeople, botany, ornithology and architecture offers a vivid window into the past and is expected to fetch £6,000-8,000.
  • A a pair of Anglo-Indian carved rosewood bookcases at £2,000-3,000.
  • A copy of Sir Robert Atkyn’s history of Gloucestershire, a volume that is an integral element in any country house collection. An estimate of £800-1,200 reflects its condition.
  • An exquisite and small gouache study of a Gyrfalcon from renowned wildlife artist and hero Peter Scott, estimate £300-500.
  • One conversation piece is the mahogany cased water closet by S Hawkins. Stephen Hawkins applied for his patent in 1821 for this forerunner to today’s loo and this rare survival is estimated at £400-600.
  • A highly decorative needlework screen of Anglo-Indian origin has delightful naïve decoration of figures taking tea while exotic animals parade and sometimes fight to the foreground.  Another one for the interior designers it asks £300-500.
  • Among the paintings, a fine view of Dinant by James Webb (1835-1895) has a lovely light to it.  Webb painted several views of Dinant, a scene he enjoyed painting and this comes across in the present work, estimated at £4,000-6,000.
  • Another painting by Spanish artist Alejandro de Riquer (1856-1920) shows female figures reclining in the shade on a hot day. Although better known for his Art Nouveau poster designs this oil shows his skill as a painter with the heat of the day emanating from the canvas, estimate £1,000-1,500.
  • For the outdoors, a superb wooden cased croquet set by Jaques for eight players, with all its original accessories is estimated to go for £300-500.

The sale also includes a wide range of ceramics from the 17th to the 20th century, including a Chelsea Derby garniture of five vases, probably decorated by Richard Askew and Zachariah Boreman. It is decorated with rural scenes and classical figures and carries pre-sale expectations of £2,200-£2,500.

Chelsea Derby garniture of five vases

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