Three Charles Lees oil portraits for 'The Golfers' painting, together with two books and a colour print of 'The Golfers'.
Lot 230
Charles Lees R.S.A. (1800-1880): An important mid-19th Century preliminary oil on paper portrait of the Earl of Eglinton Painted in preparation for 'The Golfers A Grand Match Played on St. Andrews Links 1841'. The painting has been left untouched and undivided on board. This lot also includes a copy of 'The Golfers' by Peter N. Lewis and Angela D. Howe. 5 x 3½ inches
Sold for £10,920 (US$ 18,671) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
Charles Lees (1800-1880) was born in Cupar, Fife and studied painting under Sir Henry Raeburn R.A. (1756-1823) in Edinburgh. He was elected to the Royal Scottish Academy at the age of 29. 'The Golfers A Grand Match Played on St. Andrews Links 1841', painting's raison d'être was to capture on canvas, the better known golfers and dignitaries witnessing a challenge match played at the time of that year's Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews Autumn meeting. Of the three personalities, the Earl of Eglinton is perhaps the most famous. In Tulloch's biography 'The Life of Tom Morris', the Earl of Eglinton is described as being 'the tall, good-looking man, bareheaded...' Archibald William Montgomerie, the 14th Earl of Eglinton was the co-founder of the Open Tournament (Championship) first played 150 years ago in October 1860 over three rounds of Prestwick Golf Club's 12-hole course. In 1854, the Earl of Eglinton was elected Prestwick's first Captain; he presented a gold medal for annual competition, the Eglinton Gold Medal that is still played for to this day. The second personality, John Campbell of Glensaddell is mentioned twice by Tulloch, 'a little to the right in a group of six is John Campbell of Glensaddell, of whom we have heard'...and later Tulloch writes, 'Colonel Ogilvie Fairlie of Coodham, a fine-looking man, a splendid golfer and a great patron of Tom Morris. He was the brother-in-law of "Saddell"...' John Campbell was a keen golfer and used the latest golfing technology to help his game. Dr. MacPherson referred to him in his book, 'Golf and Golfers, Past and Present' after he had bought 'experimental gutties' from him in 1848. Campbell of Glensaddell presented a prize medal to North Berwick on its inauguration in 1832. He was also a member of the Royal and Ancient Club in St Andrews and twice won the Bombay Medal (1849 & 1852). The third personality was Arthur Annesley, the 10th Lord Viscount Valentia. He was born on 30 November 1785 and died on 30 December 1863, aged 78. Tulloch describes him as being 'the tall farthest back figure with the tall hat...' It is quite likely that Lees invited the main characters to appear in the finished painting. If they agreed, they were sketched and after agreeing the work, they then paid an 'appearance' fee. In 1852 Lees wrote, "The numerous portraits into this interesting picture are all of Gentlemen distinguished as skilful players or lovers of the game, and have all been painted from actual sittings, given to the artist expressly for this work, every opportunity and facility having been afforded him, not only for rendering them faithful and correct likenesses, but to enable him also to embody on his canvas, in all its life and spirit, one of the most ancient, healthy, and exciting of our national games." Of these preliminary sketches, it is known that 9 were exhibited in 1845-46 at the Royal Scottish Academy. The R & A own 15 sketches and three from another Lee's painting, 'The Grand Curling Match at Linlithgow'. These 18 paintings are hung in the Trophy Room grouped attractively in two lots of nine and framed in gilt. The sketches are shown on a fine grid drawn on the paper or canvas behind suggesting that all the portraits were prepared on a single sheet at first and cut up for mounting. The R & A purchased their portraits from Mr. Keiller Bruce, a local St. Andrews chemist in or around 1890. Mr. Archie Baird of the Gullane Golf Museum currently owns the William Goddard portrait. The finished painting appeared in 1851 as a large canvas measuring 7 foot x 4 foot 3 inches. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh acquired it in 2002 for a sum in excess of £2.2 million. PLEASE NOTE; The three paintings have been left untouched and undivided on the same board, hinged to a new mount with three windows and presented in a 19th century period glazed and gilded frame. If the paintings are sold to different parties, then the paintings will be removed from the frame.
(n/a) , Charles Lees R.S.A. (1800-1880): An important mid-19th Century preliminary oil on paper portrait of the Earl of Eglinton
Painted in preparation for 'The Golfers A Grand Match Played on St. Andrews Links 1841'. The painting has been left untouched and undivided on board.
This lot also includes a copy of 'The Golfers' by Peter N. Lewis and Angela D. Howe.
5 x 3½ inches

Footnotes

  • Provenance: From a private collection in Surrey, England and a Christie's catalogue entry circa 1940, a copy of which is attached to the reverse of the painting.


Saleroom notices

  • Please note this lot is now one portrait of three, please see lots; 231 & 232.
Activities
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Wine, Coins & Medals and Motor Cars and Motorcycles:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first £50,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from £50,001 to £1,000,000 the Hammer Price
12% from £1,000,001 of the Hammer Price

VAT at the current rate of 20% will be added to the Buyer's Premium and charges excluding Artists Resale Right.

Payment Notices

Payment in advance: by cash, check with banker's card, credit card, bank draft or traveler's cheque.

Payment at collection: by credit or debit card.

Credit card charges: a surcharge of 2% is applicable when using Mastercard, Visa and overseas debit cards.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.