• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7561

    Simon Sainsbury The Creation of an English Arcadia

    18 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 105

    James Seymour (London 1702?-1752)

    A liver chesnut racehorse led by a mounted groom in a wooded landscape

    Price Realised  

    James Seymour (London 1702?-1752)
    A liver chesnut racehorse led by a mounted groom in a wooded landscape
    signed with monogram and dated 'J:S_ 1750.' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    30½ x 48¾ in. (77 x 123.8 cm.)


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    On the basis of the livery of the groom in the present picture, the owner of the liver chesnut racehorse is likely to have been Evelyn Pierrepoint, 2nd Duke of Kingston, whose racing colours were crimson and the horse is likely to be Jolly Roger. Jolly Roger, a chesnut gelding, was the only horse that the Duke of Kingston had in training for many years and between 1747 and 1751. He won races at places such as Lincoln, Peterborough, and Grantham, which were in the area of his great Nottinghamshire house Thoresby Park. Having started with Jolly Roger, the Duke of Kingston was to become an important racehorse owner and member of the Jockey Club and many of his horses were painted.

    James Seymour was born in London, the son of a banker, goldsmith, and diamond merchant, who supplied plate for racing trophies. Seymour's father was also an amateur artist and a member of the Virtuosi Club of St. Luke, to which the leading sporting artists John Wootton and Peter Tillemans belonged. It is therefore perhaps not suprising that Seymour should have chosen the career of an artist. Although Seymour had no formal training, he began to draw at early age and Vertue mentions that 'from his infancy' he 'had a genius to drawings of Horses'. He also studied pictures and prints in his father's collection and copied old masters. Encouraged by his father, he received an entree into the London art world with introductions to the leading artists of the day. Seymour worked largely at Newmarket and attracted many patrons as well as developing a strong interest of his own in racing and may have owned his own horses.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    with the Rutland Gallery, London.
    Mr and Mrs Jack R. Dick; Sotheby's London, 23 April 1975, lot 136.