Lost Impressionist art work hits £180k in North Yorkshire sale

An important lost British Impressionist painting sold for £180,000 (plus buyer’s premium) in Tennants Auctioneers’ British, European and Sporting Art Sale on July 16.

‘In a Ligurian Garden’ by Henry Herbert La Thangue (1859-1929) was recently rediscovered in Yorkshire, having been passed down through the Prince-Smith family, manufacturers of textile machinery from Keighley, West


Henry Herbert La Thangue RA (1859-1929) was one of the leading exponents of British Impressionism, who depicted the rural ideal, first in Sussex and later in unspoiled gardens of the French and Italian Riviera. The present work was hung in the Royal Academy in 1908, with its companion picture ‘Ligurian Flowers’, now in the Blackburn Art Gallery. Ligurian gardens became a major theme of his work before the outbreak of war, in which he distilled the natural abundance and sensuality of Italy in works infused with sunlight and the scent of flowers and fruit set amongst crumbling plaster.  

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An impressive depiction of a Pelican by Henry Stacy Marks (1829-1898) sold well, too, at £18,500. Henry Stacy Marks began his career focusing on historical scenes, frequently sourced from Shakespeare; however, in 1888 the Fine Art Society planned an exhibition on birds, and Marks took the opportunity to study the subject in depth, becoming a frequent visitor to London Zoo. Drawing birds with accuracy, and focusing on exotic and colourful species, Henry Stacy Marks mastered the art of ornithological painting.

Further notable lots included a Portrait of Eleanor of Austria (by repute) by a follower of Alonso Sanchez Coello (1531-1588), which sold for £8,500, a Lamentation in the Manner of Campin (c.1375- 1444), which sold for £4,500 and a pastel portrait of Miss Davy, Granddaughter of Frances Fitz William, Lady Carbery by Hugh Douglas Hamilton (1739-1808) which sold for £3,000.

A good offering of equine paintings in the sale were led by ‘The Flying Dutchman’, attributed to John Frederick Herring Snr. (1795-1865), which sold for £7,000. Also selling well were a painting of a grey horse in a stable by Robert L Alexander (1840-1923) (sold for £4,500), and ‘Horse Fair, possibly Appleby’ by John Atkinson (1863-1924) (sold for £5,500).

The sale achieved a total hammer price of £330,780 with an 83% sold rate for 131 lots.

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Full sale results are available on Tennants website: www.tennants.co.uk

A second sale on the same day, the Tennants Auctioneers’ Summer Fine Sale, saw a cut glass gobelet that accompanied Napoleon I whilst on campaign sell for £8,800.

Whilst on campaign, Napoleon demanded that he was looked after in the manner to which he was accustomed in the Imperial Palace, surrounded by luxurious goods that befitted his rank and served to the highest standards of

formal etiquette. The present glass was made by Montcenis, a crystal manufacturer established in 1787 and was engraved with a ‘N’ topped by the imperial crown. The glass was sold in the original fitted brown leather case embossed with the same crowned ‘N’ and gilt bees, and had been part of a Private Family Collection in the North West of England.

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Tennants Auctioneers is a fourth-generation family business and is one of the UK’s largest international Antiques and Fine Art auctioneers. Situated in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, Tennants holds over 80 sales a year and connects more than 200,000 buyers and sellers a year.

In 2014 Tennants expanded the Auction Centre to 80,000sq ft with the development of The Garden Rooms - a dedicated venue for events, weddings, conferences and exhibitions. The venue is one of the region’s largest event spaces with a capacity of over 600 people.

For more information, go to: www.tennants.co.uk

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