Dame Laura Knight at Bonhams 19th Century Sale

Dame Laura Knight's A Seaside Holiday is being offered for the first time at auction at Bonhams 19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist Art on 14 March 2018 at the New Bond Street saleroom. The work is estimated at £100,000-150,000.

Dame Laura Knight (1877-1970) is widely considered one of the foremost British artists of the 20th Century. In 1936, she was the first woman accepted to the Royal Academy, a significant feat from its founding in 1768. Indeed, Laura Knight paved the way for women artists by depicting alternative subjects such as circus performers – an unusual subject for a female artist at the time. Her travels along the British South Coast with the Great Carmo Circus in 1929 highlight an audacious character alongside equally compelling works.

A Seaside Holiday was painted in 1931 and depicts the de Peyer family at their country home at Middleton on Sea, England. The de Peyers were a family of musicians – Edith de Peyer would often hold salons at her home in St John's Wood in London, where Laura Knight would attend. Most significantly, the painting features a young Gervase de Peyer atop of a horse. Gervase would later become a world-famous clarinet virtuouso with a Principal position at the London Symphony Orchestra and in 1969, a founding member of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center in New York.

Despite moving to New York, Gervase de Peyer maintained a legacy between the de Peyer and Knight families in London. When Laura Knight passed away in 1970, Gervase purchased her house in St John's Wood and displayed A Seaside Holiday in her studio as a tribute to the artist and his parents.

Bonhams Head of 19th Century Paintings, Charles O'Brien said: 'We are delighted to be offering Dame Laura Knight's A Seaside Holiday – painted in 1932, the work gives a rare insight into Laura Knight's personal and long-lasting relationship with the de Peyer family. The painting is a fantastic tribute to the family, as well as a key example of Knight's leading role in British Impressionism.'

Other Highlights from the sale include:

Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida (Spanish, 1863-1923) Study for La vuelta de la pesca is estimated at £300,000-400,000.

Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836-1904) Bouquet de roses dans un verre à pied is estimated at £120,000-180,000

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (French, 1796-1875) Le rêveur dans la clairière is estimated at £70,000-100,000.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest and most renowned auctioneers, offering fine art and antiques, motor cars and jewelry. The main salerooms are in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong, with auctions also held in Knightsbridge, Edinburgh, Paris, San Francisco and Sydney. With a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 22 countries, Bonhams offers advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full list of forthcoming auctions, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments, please visit


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