30 Jan 2012
Painter Rewarded by George V with a portrait by Van Dyck.
Thirty one works by the renowned canine artist, Reuben Ward Binks (1880-1950), who regularly painted for the Royal family, will feature in the Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale on 15th February 2012 at Bonhams New York saleroom.
Reuben Ward Binks was born in Halliwell, Bolton in 1880 and was initially destined to follow the career of his father and become a watchmaker. However, he showed an early talent for painting and pursued this as a career after studying at Manchester Art School. He was later commissioned by the Countess of Howe to paint a series of her sporting dogs, and she was so pleased with the results that she encouraged him to specialise in canine paintings, and her considerable social connections helped his career to develop.
He subsequently painted for many members of the Royal Family, including King Edward VII's terrier Caesar, Clumber spaniels for George V, Cairn terriers for Edward VIII and retrievers for George VI. He was frequently invited to attend the Royal Shoots at Sandringham, and sketched the sporting dogs there at work. The Royals regularly commissioned works from him and in 1930 George V presented him with a gift of a signed Van Dyke portrait.
The sale includes a painting of King George V's Clumber spaniels at Sandringham estimated at $1,200-1,800. Other examples include Gordon Setters in a Highland landscape,($800-1,200) Black retriever with a duck ($1,000-1,500) and Six Otterhounds in a river.($800-1,200)
The 31 works have pre-sale estimates ranging from $400-$3,000 and are expected to fetch more than $21,000 in total.
Sam Travers of Bonhams 19th Century Pictures department comments, "The selection of Ward Binks paintings we are lucky enough to have in this sale demonstrate what a good draughtsman he was and how he had the technical skill necessary to work at speed in order to convey the immediacy of the hunt and the fleeting moments that reveal character in his canine subjects. He has become a much loved and much sought after artist and his links with major historical figures only underline the fact that he was one of the most gifted canine artists of his generation - the lots in our upcoming auction are a fine testament to this and we expect there to be lots of interest."
The sale also includes paintings of a huge variety of dog species by such artists as Arthur Wardle, Valentine Garland, Percival Rosseau, Cecil Aldin and John Emms.