• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7589

    Sporting Art

    23 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 69

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

    The huntsmen in full flight

    Price Realised  


    Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959)
    The huntsmen in full flight
    signed and dated 'A.J. MUNNINGS 99' (lower left)
    pencil, watercolour, bodycolour, brush and black ink
    14¼ x 18¼ in. (36.2 x 46.3 cm.)

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    In 1893, at the age of fourteen, Munnings embarked on a six-year apprenticeship with Page Bros., a Norwich firm of lithographers. 'As those years went on my designs must have brought a great deal of business to Page Bros. & Co., Ltd., of Norwich, for I often had more work handed to me than I could cope with ... The design might be for lemonade - chocolates - mustard - whisky - pills - even for poultry foods or election posters ... which meant that I must stir up my imagination and think hard to get an idea - something for printing in three or more colours, something effective and with good spacing' (see A.J. Munnings, An Artist's Life, Bungay, 1950, p. 72).

    At the end of his apprenticeship in 1899, Munnings left Page Bros. to set up a studio in Mendham. However, in order to supplement his income as he struggled to establish himself as a painter, he continued to produce commercial designs for firms such as Caley's and Colman's. 'These were done in three colours and black outline as a rule ... I went on for some years with poster work - and liked doing it - in between my more ambitious aspirations ... This side line, bringing riches with it, went on apace, so that I continued dipping into my imagination' (op. cit., pp. 81-82).

    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.


    Charles A. Bunting, and by descent.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Bury St Edmunds, Art Gallery, Loan Collection of Pictures by A.J. Munnings, R.A., August - September 1939, no. 30, as one of 'Four Water Colour Drawings of 1899 and 1900'.