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Christie's is honoured to present The B.J. Eastwood Collection: Important Sporting and Irish Pictures, comprising 30 lots, which represent the full array of B.J. Eastwood’s deep interest in equestrian painting and Irish Art. Works range from 19th Century sporting pictures through to defining representations of Munnings’ oeuvre, to an extraordinary group of Yeats illustrating key periods of his work. Other leading examples of Irish Art are included in the sale, featuring works by Walter Frederick Osborne, Sir William Orpen, Roderic O’Conor, Paul Henry, Sir John Lavery, and Gerard Dillon.
Barney Eastwood, known to his friends and family as ‘BJ’, was born in Northern Ireland in 1932, and his dedication to sport began at an early age. Eastwood was a talented Gaelic football player and was a member of the Co. Tyrone team which won the All Ireland Minor Championship in 1948. Both horse and greyhound racing were also significant sporting passions throughout his lifetime, and together with his great friend and erstwhile business partner Alfie McLean, he had many successful runners over the years.
B.J. Eastwood started his collection in the mid 1970s, at a time when he was particularly drawn to collection and house sales. However, it was his abiding love of sport and his eye for quality and detail which translated into an intrigue and fascination specifically with Sporting and Irish artists. He followed the great sales of the 1970s and 1980s, and over time built an outstanding collection of the genres’ greatest examples. Often seeking advice from leading experts, he personally curated a remarkable series of pictures while building a considerable level of expertise on the artists and works himself.