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Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959)
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus bu… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION (LOTS 3, 17-20, 45-47 AND 70-74)
Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959)

The History of a Cycling Tour, And What it Brought About, Showing how Fortune Favours the Brave

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Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S. (1878-1959)
The History of a Cycling Tour, And What it Brought About, Showing how Fortune Favours the Brave
the one inscribed 'THE HISTORY OF A CYCLING TOUR Being sick of small rides he determined to go in for a real genuine tour/So next day he was off with good weather and spirits./Getting about 10 mls. on the road he lost his way/He was terribly annoyed when his rear wheel began to lose wind and the puncture wasn't to be found and to make it worse a group of small critics began to assemble./Who with their knowing remarks fairly exasperated him./But at last the tire [sic.] was set right. And lost time was made up by taking advantage of a drop of 100ft. within the distance of 100 yds./And the machine having no break, without a moments notice, he received a violent shock, landing into a thorn fence almost at the same time. Not much injury was done, but the thing that vexed him most was that (the machine couldn't apologise)./The next morning found him in a rather dangerous mood, and at breakfast he determined that when once on the road he'd scorch./and scorch he did but there were one or two slight hindrances./He found that lighting on to the back of a bullock was preferable to the road if accidents will, and do happen./And only once did he take the part of offensive. But all thoughts of scorching & accidents were dispelled from his mind as he was taking refreshments at a wayside inn, by a vision on wheels flashing by the window./And follow her he would having a faint hope that by some means he might strike up an acquaintance. Then a bright idea struck him -/Being in a country he'd seen before he knew a lane that came out at the main road against some crossways, he would ride hard through the lane and manage to come on to the road as she came up hoping she would ask him the way./But alas, he didn't judge the riding properties of the new woman, neither had he reckoned on seeing a white flaring sign post at the crossways./He hadn't thought of a ford with a foot-bridge across till now, which he knew was about 3 mls. ahead./He detemined to ride past her, getting to the bridge first, and when she came up, he would carry her machine across for her./and it all came off splendidly. They finished their tour on a tandem./She didn't even refuse when he asked her if he could assist her to mount. the last signed 'A.J. MUNNINGS' (lower right)
ink, watercolour and bodycolour
14¼ x 10 in. (36.2 x 25.4 cm.)
A set of three
Provenance
with Richard Green, London.
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VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium

Lot Essay

In 1893, at the age of fourteen, Munnings was apprenticed to Page Bros., a Norwich firm of lithographers. The six years he spent there were invaluable in introducing the young artist to new ideas and he became skilled at turning his mind to a wide variety of design requirements. His talents as a draftsman were used to produce advertising for such commodities as lemonade, chocolate, mustard, whisky and pills. In 1895 Munnings submitted a design for advertising Waverley cycles in a competition run by The Cyclist. His design won the competition and a prize of three guineas.

The present work would seem to date from the mid-1890s and shows the artist combining his keen skill as an illustrator with a very witty turn of phrase, recalling his Very Piggy Story; a humorous illustrated ballad, written as a thirteen-year old.

We are grateful to Lorian Peralta Ramos for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.
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