H. J. (Jim) Joel (1895-1992), a member of the Joel mining dynasty who made their fortune in South African diamonds and gold, formed one of the great twentieth century collections of English Furniture. Like some of his contemporaries, he relied on the advice of R. W. Symonds and the collection bears his distinctive imprint. However, Jim Joel's collection was unique as it was not limited exclusively to English furniture. He had a particular passion for Sporting Art, reflecting his love of the turf and involvement in racing, and his collection also encompassed a wide range of the decorative arts, including French furniture, oriental carpets and English, European and Oriental porcelain.
The majority of Joel’s collection was sold in a monumental two-part Christie's house sale, on 15-17 May 1978; the pictures were sold at Christie's, London on 3 June 1978. Further sales took place when the contents of Joel’s residence at 15 Grosvenor Square were sold at Christie's, London, on 17 April 1980 and, after Joel’s death, the contents of Stud House, Childwick Bury, Hertfordshire on 1 April 1993.