Inscriptions on the contemporary labels, attached to the original frames of both watercolours read 'OVIS POLI/painted by J. Wolf/for Sir Victor Brooke' and OVIS AMON/painted by J. Wolf/for Sir Victor Brooke'. The watercolours are similar in style to the plates executed by Wolf for Richard Lydekker's Wild Oxen, Sheep & Goats of all Lands, London, 1898. The publication contains 28 plates after Joseph Smit (1836-1929) and Wolf (see lot 168 for a watercolour by Smit). The present watercolours, might have been executed with the commission in mind but were not used for the final publication. Smit's watercolour was used for the plate illustrating Ovis poli.
Sir Victor Brooke, Bart. (b. 1843), was a passionate hunter and was fascinated by natural history. He made frequent expeditions to North Africa and the Middle and Far East where he carried out studies of oxen, deer, sheep and antelopes, and published over fifteen essays in conjunction with the Zoological Society.