15 December 2011
Benjamin Williams Leader, R.A. (1831-1923)
A relic of the past
signed and dated 'B.W.LEADER.1897' (lower left) and signed 'B.W.Leader' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
36½ x 57½ in. (92.7 x 146 cm.)
sold by the artist to Agnew's, London, for £500 in December 1897.
with Leggatt Bros., London, 1898.
Joel sale; Knight, Frank & Rutley, London, 7-12 December, 1931, lot number untraced.
F.J. Lawes; Christie's, London, 11 December 1942, lot 101 (65 gns to Thompson).
Anonymous sale; Christie's, London, 29 March 1996, lot 124 (£24,000 to the present owner).
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F. Lewis, Benjamin Williams Leader, R.A. 1831-1923, Leigh-on-Sea, 1971, p. 46, no. 406.
R. Wood, Benjamin Williams Leader, RA 1831-1923; His Life and Paintings, Suffolk, 1998, p. 90, pl. 48.
The building depicted is the old Malt House at Gomshall, Surrey, a short distance away from Burrows Cross where Leader lived from 1889 until his death in 1923. Now known as Malt House Cottages, the sixteenth-century house, with its notable chimneys and ornate timber framing, is little changed today. A view of distant countryside to the right of the house was cut off at some stage after the picture appeared at the Lawes sale at Christie's in December 1942, when its measurements (probably including the frame) were given as 43 x 71 inches. Our painting was sold for 500 guineas to Agnew's nine months later.
We are grateful to Ruth Wood for her help with this catalogue entry.
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.
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