• Old Master & 19th Century Pain auction at Christies

    Sale 2282

    Old Master & 19th Century Paintings, Drawings, & Watercolors

    27 January 2010, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 199

    Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (Mendham 1878-1959 Dedham)

    Study for 'The Saddling Paddock at Epsom'

    Price Realised  


    Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (Mendham 1878-1959 Dedham)
    Study for 'The Saddling Paddock at Epsom'
    signed 'A.J. MUNNINGS' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    18 x 24¼ in. (45.7 x 61.6 cm.)
    Painted circa 1930

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    Munnings painted numerous pictures at Epsom and it was arguably his favorite racecourse, 'There is no saddling paddock like the one at Epsom' (A.J. Munnings, The Finish, Bungay, 1952, p. 220). The picture can be dated to circa 1930 as Munnings recalled in his memoirs the months of work following Epsom week in both 1929 and 1930 and he identified the present work as a study for his Royal Academy exhibit number 129 in 1931. That painting was in the collection of Mrs. Anthony de Rothschild, and was stored at Christie's in London during the war and destroyed by the bomb that hit the building in 1941.

    In his autobiography, Munnings talked in detail of how he prepared the models for this composition, 'I had arranged for my three grooms to have a day each at the Epsom Races. Harvey, the stud groom, went one day; Bayfield and Slocombe together another. Thus, like me, they became imbued afresh with the subject; saw the saddling-ring, the jockeys mounting and riding up the course past the tents, the crowd, the sets...' (The Second Burst, Bungay, 1951, pp. 296-298).

    He used his horses Winter Rose as the model for the dark horse in the foreground and Wildbird on the left.

    This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Sir Alfred Munnings being prepared by Lorian Peralta-Ramos.


    E. Cooper-Bland, Newmarket, 1956.
    with Richard Green, London, 1973.
    Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 4 March 1977, lot 94.
    with Richard Green, London, 1977.
    with Frost & Reed, London, from whom purchased.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery Fisher


    Sir A.J. Munnings, Second Burst, London, 1951, pp. 296-298.


    London, Royal Academy, Diploma Exhibition, 1956, no. 227.