Newmarket: Important collection of racing pictures to go under the hammer

Important collection of Newmarket racing pictures at Christie’s captures race-day excitement

Important collection of Newmarket racing pictures at Christies captures race-day excitement - Credit: Contributed

A painting depicting early horseracing in Newmarket is expected to make up to £20,000 when it goes under the hammer in London.

The Chaise Match Run On Newmarket Heath, painted in August 1750 by Francis Sartorius, is up for auction at Christie’s Sporting & Wildlife Art auction on June 5.

Alongside the Sartorius work is a collection of 12 watercolours that also depict the Newmarket races.

Once owned by the late Lord Matthews, a former CEO of the company that ran the Ritz Hotel in London, the works are said to “capture the exciting atmosphere of the meetings at one of the country’s busiest and most important racecourses.”

The Newmarket pictures were painted by Lionel Dalhousie Robertson Edwards, a prolific artist best known for his atmospheric and beautifully executed depictions of horse racing, shooting, fishing and hunting.

Originally destined for the army, Edwards studied art in London, quickly becoming a prominent artist and providing illustrations for publications such as Country Life. He died in 1966.

The paintings, which represent various areas of the racecourse and paddocks, are estimated between £2,500 and £6,000. One of the most vibrant works in the collection is Newmarket, The Start – 2000 Guineas, showing the frenzied start of one of the country’s five British Classic races.

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Tom Rooth, specialist in sporting and wildlife art, said: “This sale features an impressive selection of sporting and wildlife paintings, and captures the breadth, eclecticism and depth of the field. From the plains of Africa to the adrenaline of the racecourse, the works showcased will include 20th century masters such as David Shepherd and Dylan Lewis, to the early greats such as Francis Sartorius, Thomas Spencer and John Frederick Herring Senior.”

In all there are more than 50 paintings of horses included in the sale, which show a shift in the naturalistic representation of horses throughout the ages.

The auction includes 114 lots with works from the 18th to the 20th centuries, ranging from £1,000 to £80,000.

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