Posted on September 9, 2016 - by Annie Johnson
The Times is pleased to announce that the catalog of consignments for the 4th annual Sporting Art Auction, slated for Monday, November 21, 2016 at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky, is available on the auction website here. Of course our eyes are drawn to the 19th century lots, and we’re happy to report there’s one piece by our favorite artist Edward Troye that will only set you back $30–$40k! Some highlights of antebellum consignments include:
#19 Nina by Edward Troye, 1869 Oil on Canvas, 25 x 30 inches, H. P. Whitney Collection; see page 29 of catalog: Intrigue surrounds this portrait of a bay mare! In 1952, Yale University made a trade of two Troye paintings with a New York gallery in exchange for a piece by John James Audubon. Whether this portrait from the Troye trade that is now up for auction is truly a mare named Nina still remains a mystery, for this piece was named as such by the gallery. Neither Yale’s representatives nor Harry Worcester Smith, one of two authorities on Troye (the other being Alexander Mackey-Smith, author of The Race Horses of America from which this information was taken) could positively identify the mare in the painting.
According to Mackay-Smith, although Troye did paint Major Thomas Doswell’s brown mare Nina in the fall of 1858 at his Bullfield farm in Virginia, the portrait is signed “E. Troye, May 28, 1869;” however, at that time in 1869, Troye was miles away in Kentucky at Walnut Hill Stud, working on commissions for his Lexington patron James A. Grinstead. Therefore, the mare known as Nina was most likely Grinstead’s three-year-old Kelpie by imported sire Bonnie Scotland—champion abroad of the Liverpool St. Leger and Doncaster Stakes who became an influential American sire, with his line including 20th century greats Man o’ War, Seabiscuit and Secretariat, and continuing in many of the champions of today.
Bonnie Scotland was the greatest stallion from the roster of Belle Meade Stud in Nashville, where he stood for nearly eight years starting in 1872 at the age of 19; note, though, since Kelpie was part of his 1866 crop, he was standing at the farm of Reber and Kutz in Lancaster, Ohio at that time (Reber and Kutz may be best known for breeding Fashion, the queen of the 1840’s turf who amassed 32 wins in 36 starts, including her match race victory against the mighty Boston, his only loss on the track).
Mackay-Smith noted Kelpie as the dam of Grinstead’s favorite yearling filly by Lightning, and she was also bred to Waverly to produce Duke of Montrose. Interestingly enough, Troye’s final portrait that he painted before his death in 1874 was that of Grinstead’s two-year-old Waverly (1872).
#12 Racehorse and Terrier by Benjamin Marshall, 1804 Oil on Canvas, 30 x 36 inches, Arthur Ackerman & Son; see page 21 of catalog: We’re fascinated by this early 19th century painting that is expected to fetch between $50,000–$60,000 at auction. Benjamin Marshall (1768–1835) was a British animal and sporting art painter, known as the “Marshall of Newmarket” as he lived near the racetrack. A number of his works were engraved by John Scott for Sporting Magazine and The Sportsman’s Repository.
#2 Cambridgeshire Stakes by Samuel Henry Alken, 1850 Oil on Panel, 8 x 12 inches, Trinity House Gallery; see page 14 of catalog: This considerably smaller portrait at 8 x 12 inches (and for smaller budgets of $4,000–$6,000) captures the 1850 Cambridgeshire Stakes at Newmarket, won by Landgrave [by Sir Hercules, out of The Landgravine]. Landgrave was piloted by jockey James “Jem” Chapple, who won both the Epsom Derby and Oaks in 1833 aboard Dangerous and Vespa, respectively; he again was victorious in the 1838 Epsom Derby aboard Amato. Note the gap in years from these earlier wins—at the time of the Cambridgshire Stakes in 1850, Chapple was making a return to the track at the age of 54 after several years of retirement; moreover, that year he accomplished winning the “Autumn double” at Newmarket, taking both the Cambridgshire as well as the Cesarewitch Handicap aboard Glauca.
The auction’s 175 lots will be on view at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the Keeneland September Sale, from September 12th–25th, and from November 8th–19th; appointments for viewing from October 7th–29th during the Keeneland fall meet can be made by calling 859-233-3856. Visit the auction website here.
More Troye Related Reading:
Be sure to catch up on Edward Troye, his two “authorities” Harry Worcester Smith and Alexander Mackay-Smith, and more about James Grinstead and Waverly by reading our feature, “Edward Troye: America’s Equine Artist,” in American Racehorse magazine here, on numbered page 26.
The Times’ photo gallery of Troye’s final resting place at the Georgetown Cemetery in Kentucky can also be accessed here.
The Times also visited Belle Meade in late 2014—read a short snippet about the visit here!
As always, thanks for reading!
Antebellum Turf Times
Alexander Mackay-Smith, The Race Horses of America, 1832–1872, Portraits and Other Paintings by Edward Troye (Saratoga Springs: The National Museum of Racing, 1981).
Ridley Wills II, Belle Meade Bloodlines 1816-1904 (Nashville: Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities, 1990).
The Sporting Art Auction catalog for 2016
Dictionary of National Biography
Biographical Encyclopaedia of British Racing
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