John Ferneley, Sen. (Thrussington 1782-1860 Melton Mowbray)
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John Ferneley, Sen. (Thrussington 1782-1860 Melton Mowbray)

Lord Henry Bentinck’s chestnut hunter Firebird and Policy, a foxhound, in a loose box

Details
John Ferneley, Sen. (Thrussington 1782-1860 Melton Mowbray)
Lord Henry Bentinck’s chestnut hunter Firebird and Policy, a foxhound, in a loose box
signed, inscribed and dated 'J. Ferneley / Melton Mowbray / 1845. ' (lower left)
oil on canvas
44 ¾ x 61 ½ in. (114 x 156 cm.)
inscribed 'Policy' (lower left, beneath the dog); and 'Firebird' (lower centre, beneath the horse)
Provenance
Commissioned by Lord Henry Bentinck (1804-1870), and by inheritance to,
William Bentinck, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879), Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 23, November 2006, lot 77.
Private collection, Europe.
Literature
G. Paget, The Melton Mowbray of John Ferneley (1782-1860), Leicester, 1931, p. 150, no. 560, listed in the artist's Account Books in 1845 as ‘Lord Henry Bentinck. Portrait of a Horse. 10.10.0.’.
Special notice

These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lucy Cox
Lucy Cox

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Lot Essay

Lord Henry Bentinck (1804-1870) was widely hailed as one of the most expert huntsmen of his age, apparently riding to hounds six days a week and often covering great distances. The master of the Rufford hunt in his native Nottinghamshire between 1834 and 1836, and later of Burton in Lincolnshire between 1842 and 1860, he assembled a famous pack, regarded as ‘the best working…in England’ (R. Longrigg, The History of Foxhunting, London, 1975, p. 94). Bentinck even penned a treatise on Foxhounds and their Handling in the Field, which was published posthumously in 1922. The present work demonstrates his two prevailing passions: hunting and hounds. Ferneley was a fashionable choice for immortalising prized animals amongst the landed classes of the early nineteenth century. Policy, the foxhound depicted here, was an important breeding dog for Bentinck, with some ‘wonderfully fine young dog-hounds’ recorded as his offspring (‘Cecil’, ‘Cubhunting’, The New Sporting Review, XXXIV, p. 339).

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