Loading Spinner

Walter Frederick Osborne (1859 - 1903)

Lot 72: Walter Frederick Osborne RHA ROI (1859-1903)A Bit of Sutton Courtney - A Village by the ThamesOil on panel, 41 x 32cm (16 x 12½'')Signed; inscribed versoProvenance: The Rowley Gallery stamp verso, 87 Campden Street, Kensington Church Street, Lond

Adam's

March 27, 2019
Dublin 2, Ireland

More About this Item


Description

Walter Frederick Osborne RHA ROI (1859-1903)A Bit of Sutton Courtney - A Village by the ThamesOil on panel, 41 x 32cm (16 x 12½'')Signed; inscribed versoProvenance: The Rowley Gallery stamp verso, 87 Campden Street, Kensington Church Street, London, whence purchased in the 1920s; hence by descent.Exhibited: The Dublin Art Club, 1887, Catalogue No.129.Literature: Sheehy, Jeanne, 'Walter Osborne', Gifford & Craven, Ballycotton 1974, p.121, no.174; Bodkin, Thomas, 'Four Irish Landscape Painters', Dublin and London, 1920, Appendix XI, p.133; le Harival, Adrian and Michael Wynne, 'Acquisitions, 1984-86, National Gallery of Ireland', Dublin, 1986, p.68, illustrated fig.60b.(note: Osborne titled this picture with the spelling ‘Sutton Courtney’ and this spelling will be used when referring to the painting. The correct spelling of the village is Sutton Courtenay.)Journeying along the river Thames, Cork-born artist Robert Gibbings wrote in 1940 that: “Sutton’s Pool by Sutton Courtenay is a fairy world of falling waters. By moonlight… it is a setting for the rarer moments in life”. Gibbings did not linger in the village, “leaving the last golden hours of evening to the boys fishing on the weirs” (1).In 1887, Walter Osborne had stayed at Sutton Courtenay (then in Berkshire but today in Oxfordshire) and painted the present picture A Bit of Sutton Courtney, A Village by the Thames. It shows a boy leaning against a wooden railing, fishing, while across the river a woman stands and tall red buildings are lit by sunlight. Walter Osborne observes the scene meticulously and the picture has a wealth of detail and a strong human presence. In spite of its rural setting, the painting is aflame with warm, glowing reds and browns, almost unprecedented in Irish art at this time.Having earlier studied in Dublin and Antwerp and painted in Brittany, Osborne spent much of the second half of the 1880s working in English villages and towns, painting a series of village, farming and coastal scenes. These are some of the finest pictures of his career. He painted much in Berkshire and Oxfordshire, for instance at Newbury, Uffington, Didcot and on the Downs. Sometimes he had the company of fellow artist Blandford Fletcher and his friend from Dublin, writer Stephen Gwynn, was in nearby Oxford, 1882-1886, and was teaching at Bradfield School in 1888 (2).Sutton Courtenay was a tranquil and picturesque village just south of Abingdon and north of Didcot, situated in a curve in the river Thames. It had been settled by the Saxons, who built a causeway on the river. In the twelfth century, the village took the name of the Courtenay family, who lived in the manor (3). All Saints’ Church and other fine buildings date from later centuries (4). In the mid-19th century, many villagers were employed in the local paper mill and in domestic service. The most striking features of the village were the causeway and weirs that separated the millstream from the Sutton Pools and Osborne was attracted to the streams where boys fished.From his early days in Ireland, he had depicted several pictures of lads fishing in a stream or canal (5). In A Bit of Sutton Courtney, the figure is placed close to the viewer, leaning against a wooden fence. He holds a fishing rod and looks down at the river. He wears a kind of deer-stalker hat, white shirt and brown waistcoat. Sunshine falls upon his cheek and sleeve. His figure is viewed from behind and his legs are cut by the lower edge of the picture, suggesting a photographic influence. Across the river, a woman with hat and violet apron stands upon the river bank looking at the barge. Even though the figures are separated by the river, visual and, perhaps, emotional affinities between them are evoked - both looking down and both holding a rod or a stick.There is a wealth of detail in the scene: the rough grain of the sturdy wooden fence, with an upright post just visible behind the boy's legs; the reflections and ripples in the river and the little fishing float; the tall buildings with steep roofs, including the uneven structure of the barn and an old cart with large wheels. Although the sky in the background is overcast, here Osborne was inspired by the rich tones of English buildings that glowed warmly in the sunshine: reds and russets of brick walls, brown of timber and maroons of roof tiles, as well as ochre clay and verdant foliage. A Bit of Sutton Courtney is enlivened further by little points of colour; the mauve of the woman’s apron, reds, greens, blues, whites and yellows in the barge and reflected in the water; the stripes of the upright post; red in the boy’s cheek and pocket; the mauve patch on the railing; and the blue of the float.Equally, Osborne’s brushwork is lively and varied: crisp and controlled in some areas, fluid and expressive in others. The ‘square brush style’ is employed, for example, in parts of the boy’s clothing, the woman’s apron and the walls of the barn. Meanwhile, the ripples are painted in a softer, more lyrical way and parts of the foliage and undergrowth are more ‘blurred’, for instance, in the rough grass draped over the river bank.If we look closely at the painting, we notice an interesting detail: the impastoed brushstrokes that depict the fence are visible beneath the figure of the boy. This suggests that Osborne may have added him to the picture at a later date than the landscape. This was not an unusual practice amongst painters, such as Canaletto or Caspar Friedrich (6), but Osborne may have decided to include the figure to give a greater sense of focus, psychological interest and human warmth to his composition. The motif of the figure, viewed from behind, looking into the picture, the Rückenfigur of German Romanticism, can be seen in the paintings of Caspar Friedrich and in Realist pictures by François Bonvin, Henri de Braekeleer and Joseph M. Kavanagh. As in several Osborne pictures of the period, for instance Counting the Flock, 1887 (sold at Adam’s, 30th May 2018) (7), the figure viewed from behind is an individual, but also an archetype, engaging the viewer and adding a sense of mystery.A Bit of Sutton Courtney is painted on a wood panel and is signed lower right with the squared capital letters which the artist employed in this period. Osborne exhibited the picture at the Dublin Art Club (of which he was a co-founder), in 1887, modestly priced at twelve guineas. He made a tiny pencil drawing after the painting, the figure being outlined in ink (in sketchbook in NGI, catalogue number 19, 202, p.14).Sutton Courtenay continued to attract Irish and other artists and writers. John Lavery painted Asquith in an 1891 Elizabeth boat on the river in 1917 (Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane). George Orwell fished there as a boy. Francis S. Walker illustrated a book on the Thames in 1891 (8) and, as noted above, Robert Gibbings passed through Sutton Courtenay and wrote lyrically about it.I am very grateful to Niamh MacNally, Anne Hodge and Andrew Moore, National Gallery of Ireland; John Hutchinson; and Maria O’Mahony for assistance in my research.Julian Campbell, January 20191) Robert Gibbings, Sweet Thames Run Softly, London 1940, p.106.2) Jeanne Sheehy, Walter Osborne, NGI, 1983, p.77; and J. Sheehy, Walter Osborne, Ballycotton, 1974, p.22.3) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sutton_Courtenay4) Nikolaus Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Berkshire, Penguin 1966, All Saints’ Church and the Norman Hall were built in the late 12th century, and the Abbey about 1300.5) Eg. A Glade in the Phoenix Park, exhibited RHA 1880.6) Canaletto seems to have painted the background of his Grand Canal series first, then added the figures afterwards. See also Joseph M. Kavanaggh, Sheep in a Snowy Field, 1895, where the horizon line is visible beneath the bodies of the sheep. (‘Exhibition of Irish Paintings and Sculptures’, Gorry Gallery, Dublin 2018, no.50.)7) See Counting the Flock, 1887, Important Irish Art, Adam’s, 30th May 2018, lot 32; and Newbury, 1887; Joe the Swineherd, 1890; and The Railway Station, Hastings.8) William Senior, The Thames from Oxford to the Tower, with illustrations by Francis Sylvester Walker, London 1891.

Request more information

Payment

Accepted forms of payment: American Express, MasterCard, Visa, Wire Transfer

Shipping

Adam's do not ship but outsource shipping requests to recommended 3rd party shipping companies, at buyer's expense & risk. Here is a list of our recommended shippers for your convenience https://www.adams.ie/General/recommended-shippers

Buyer's Premium

23.0%

From: To: Increment:
€0 €199 €10
€200 €219 €20
€220 €279 €30
€280 €319 €20
€320 €379 €30
€380 €419 €20
€420 €479 €30
€480 €499 €20
€500 €999 €50
€1,000 €1,999 €100
€2,000 €9,999 €200
€10,000 €19,999 €500
€20,000 €29,999 €1,000
€30,000 €79,999 €2,000
€80,000+ €5,000

Extended Bidding

5 minutes/bid

Buyers - Conditions of Sale

GENERAL TERMS & CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS
The Auctioneer carries on business on the following terms and conditions and on such other terms or conditions as may be expressly agreed with the Auctioneer or set out in any relevant Catalogue. Conditions 12-21 relate mainly to buyers and conditions 22-32 relate mainly to sellers. Words and phrases with special meanings are defined in condition 1. Buyers and sellers are requested to read carefully the Cataloguing Practice and Catalogue Explanation contained in condition 2.

DEFINITIONS AND GENERAL CONDITIONS

DEFINITIONS
1. In these conditions the following words and expressions shall have the following meanings:
'Auctioneer' - James Adam and Sons trading as Adams.
'Auctioneer's Commission' - The commission payable to the Auctioneer by the buyer and seller as specified in conditions 13 and 25.
'Catalogue' - Any advertisement, brochure, estimate, price or other publication.
'Forgery' - A Lot which was made with the intention of deceiving with regard to authorship, culture, source, origin, date, age or period and which is not shown to be such in the description therefore in the Catalogue and the market value for which at the date of the auction was substantially less than it would have been had the Lot been in accordance with the Catalogue description.
'Hammer Price' - The price at which a Lot is knocked down by the Auctioneer to the buyer.
'Lot' - Any item which is deposited with the Auctioneer with a view to its sale at auction and, in particular, the item or items described against any Lot number in any Catalogue.
'Proceeds of Sale' - The net amount due to the seller being the Hammer Price of the Lot after deducting the Auctioneer's Commission thereon under condition 25 the seller's contribution towards insurance under condition 26, such VAT as is chargeable and any other amounts due by the seller to the Auctioneer in whatever capacity howsoever arising.
'Registration Form or Register' - The registration form (or, in the case of persons who have previously attended at auctions held by the Auctioneer and completed registration forms, the register maintained by the Auctioneer which is compiled from such registration forms) to be completed and signed by each prospective buyer or, where the Auctioneer has acknowledged pursuant to condition 12 that a bidder is acting as agent on behalf of a named principal, each such bidder prior to the commencement of an auction.
' Sale Order Form' - The sale order form to be completed and signed by each seller prior to the commencement of an auction.
'Total Amount Due' - The Hammer Price of the Lot sold, the Auctioneer's Commission due thereon under condition 13, such VAT as is chargeable and any additional interest, expenses or charges due hereunder.
'V.A.T.' - Value Added Tax.

Cataloguing Practice & Catalogue Explanations
2. Terms used in Catalogues have the following meanings and the Cataloguing Practice is as follows:
'The first name or names and surname of the artist' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a work by the artist.
'The initials of the first name(s) and the surname of the artist' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a work of the period of the artist and which may be in whole or in part the work of the artist.
'The surname only of the artist' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a work of the school or by one of the followers of the artist or in his style.
'The surname of the artist preceded by 'after' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a copy of the work of the artist.
'Signed'/'Dated'/'Inscribed' In the opinion of tile Auctioneer the work has been signed/dated/inscribed by the artist.
'With Signature'/'with date'/'with inscription' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer the work has been signed/dated/inscribed by a person other than the artist.
'Attributed to' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer probably a work of the artist.
'Studio of/Workshop of' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a work executed in the studio of the artist and possibly under his supervision.
'Circle of' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a work of the period of the artist and showing his influence.
'Follower of' - In the opinion of the Auctioneer a work executed in the artist's style yet not necessarily by a pupil.
'Manner of' - in the opinion of the Auctioneer a work executed in artist's style but of a later date.
None of the terms above are appropriate but in the Auctioneer's opinion the work is a work by the artist named.

GENERAL CONDITIONS

Auctioneer Acting as Agent
3. The Auctioneer is selling as agent for the seller unless it is specifically stated to the contrary. The Auctioneer as agent for the seller is not responsible for any default by the seller or the buyer. The auctioneer reserves the right to bid on behalf of the seller.

Auctioneer Bidding on behalf of Buyer
4. It is suggested that the interests of prospective buyers are best protected and served by the buyers attending at an auction. However, the Auctioneer will, if instructed, execute bids on behalf of a prospective buyer. Neither the Auctioneer nor its employees, servants or agents shall be responsible for any neglect or default in executing bids or failing to execute bids.

Admission to Auctions
5. The Auctioneer shall have the right exercisable in its absolute discretion to refuse admission to its premises or attendance at its auctions by any person.

Acceptance of Bids
6. The Auctioneer shall have the right exercisable in its absolute discretion to refuse any bids, advance the bidding in any manner it may decide, withdraw or divide any Lot, combine any two or more Lots and, in the case of a dispute, to put any Lot up for auction again.

Indemnities
7. Any indemnity given under these conditions shall extend to all actions, proceedings, claims, demands, costs and expenses whatever and howsoever incurred or suffered by the person entitled to the benefit of the indemnity and the Auctioneer declares itself to be a trustee of the benefit of every such indemnity for its employees, servants or agents to the extent that such indemnity is expressed to be for their benefit.

Representations in Catalogues
8. Representations or statements made by the Auctioneer in any Catalogue as to contribution, authorship, genuineness, source, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price or value is a statement of opinion only. Neither the Auctioneer nor its employees, servants or agents shall be responsible for the accuracy of any such opinions. Every person interested in a Lot must exercise and rely on their own judgment and opinion as to such matters.

9. The headings of the conditions herein contained are inserted for convenience of reference only and are not intended to be part of, or to effect, the meaning or interpretation thereof.

Governing Law
10. These conditions shall be governed by and construed in accordance with Irish Law.

Notices
11. Any notice or other communication required to be given by the Auctioneer hereunder to a buyer or a seller shall, where required, be in writing and shall be sufficiently given if delivered by hand or sent by post to, in the case of the buyer, the address of the buyer specified in the Registration Form or Register, and in the case of the seller, the address of the seller specified in the Sale Order Form or to such other address as the buyer or seller (as appropriate) may notify the Auctioneer in writing. Every notice or communication given in accordance with this condition shall be deemed to have been received if delivered by hand on the day and time of delivery and if delivered by post three (3) business days after posting.


CONDITIONS WHICH MAINLY CONCERN THE BUYER

The Buyer
12. The buyer shall be the highest bidder acceptable to the Auctioneer who buys at the Hammer Price. Any dispute which may arise with regard to bidding or the acceptance of bids shall be settled by the Auctioneer. Every bidder shall be deemed to act as principal unless the Auctioneer has prior to the auction, acknowledged in writing that a bidder is acting as agent on behalf of a named principal.

The Commission
13. The buyer shall pay the Auctioneer a commission at the rate of 20% of the Hammer Price, exclusive of VAT at the applicable rate on all individual lots.

Payment
14. Unless credit terms have been agreed with the Auctioneer before the auction the buyer of a Lot shall pay to the Auctioneer within (2) days from the date of the auction the Total Amount Due. Notwithstanding this, the Auctioneer may, in its sole discretion, require a buyer to pay a deposit of 25% of the Total Amount Due at the conclusion of the auction.
The Auctioneer may apply any payments received by a buyer towards any sums owing from that buyer to the Auctioneer on any account whatever regardless of any directions of the buyer or his agent in that regard whether express or implied.
The Auctioneer shall only accept payment from successful bidders in cash, draft in Euro or by the bidder's own cheque drawn on an Irish bank account vouched to the satisfaction of the Auctioneer. Cheques drawn by third parties, whether in the Auctioneer's favour or requiring endorsement, shall not be accepted. We also accept payment with all major Debit & Credit Cards, however payments with American Express will be subject to an additional 3.9% surcharge. Card payments over the telephone may be restricted at the Auctioneers discretion as a security measure, whereby payment by means of Bank Transfer may be required in order to release your lot(s) for shipping or collection. We have strict rules regarding shipping to the registered address. Our shipping agents will only ship to the address registered, any change to same will have to be authorised with the Auctioneer in advance of purchase.

Reservation of Title
15. Notwithstanding delivery or passing of risk to the buyer the ownership of a Lot shall not pass to the buyer until he has paid to the Auctioneer the Total Amount Due.

Collection of Purchases
16. The buyer shall at his own expense collect the Lot purchased not later than seven (2) days after the date of the auction but (unless credit terms have been agreed with the Auctioneer pursuant to condition 14) not before payment to the Auctioneer of the Total Amount Due.
The buyer shall be responsible for any removal, storage and insurance charges in respect of any Lot which is not taken away within seven (2) days after the date of the auction.
The purchased Lot shall be at the buyer's risk in all respects from the earlier of the time of collection or the expiry of (2) days from the date of the auction. Neither the Auctioneer nor its employees, servants or agents shall thereafter be liable for any loss or damage of any kind howsoever caused while a purchased Lot remains in its custody or control after such time.

Packaging and Handling of Purchased Lots
17. Purchased Lots may be packed and handled by the Auctioneer, its employees, servants or agents. Where this is done it is undertaken solely as a courtesy to buyers and at the discretion of the Auctioneer. Under no circumstances shall the Auctioneer, its employees, servants or agents be liable for damage of any kind and howsoever caused to glass or frames nor shall the Auctioneer be liable for the errors or omissions of, or for any damage caused by, any packers or shippers which the Auctioneer has recommended.

Non-Payment or Failure to Collect Purchased Lots
18. If a buyer fails to pay for and/or collect any purchased Lot by the dates herein specified for payment and collection the Auctioneer shall, in its absolute discretion and without prejudice to any other rights or remedies it may have, be entitled to exercise one or more of the following rights or remedies without further notice to the buyer:
(a) To issue court proceedings for damages for breach of contract;
(b) To rescind the sale of that Lot or any other Lots sold to the buyer whether at that or at any other auction;
(c) To resell the Lot or cause it to be resold whether by public auction or private sale. In the event that there is a deficiency between the Total Amount Due by the buyer and the amount received by the Auctioneer on such resale after deduction of any necessary expenses the difference shall be paid to the Auctioneer by the buyer. Any surplus arising shall belong to the seller;
(d) To store (whether at the Auctioneer's premises or elsewhere) and insure the purchased Lot at the expense of the buyer;
(e) To charge interest on the Total Amount Due at the rate of 2% over and above the base rate from time to time of Bank of Ireland or if there be no such rate, the nearest equivalent thereto as determined by the Auctioneer in its absolute discretion from the date on which payment is due hereunder to the date of actual payment;
(f) To retain that Lot or any other Lot purchased by the buyer whether
at the same or any other auction and release same to the buyer only after payment to the Auctioneer of the Total Amount Due;
(g) To apply any sums which the Auctioneer received in respect of Lots being sold by the buyer towards settlement of the Total Amount Due.
(h) To exercise a lien on any property of the buyer in the possession of the Auctioneer or whatever reason.

Liability of Auctioneer and Seller
19. Prior to auction ample opportunity is given for the inspection of the Lots on sale and each buyer by making a bid acknowledges that he has, by exercising and relying on his own judgment, satisfied himself as to the physical condition, age and Catalogue description of each Lot (including but not restricted to whether the Lot is damaged or has been repaired or restored). All Lots are sold with all faults and imperfections and errors of description. None of the seller, the Auctioneer nor any of their employees, servants or agents shall be responsible for any error of description or for the condition or authenticity of any Lot. No warranty whatsoever is given by the seller or Auctioneer or by any of their employees, servants or agents in respect of any Lot and any condition or warranty express, or implied by statute or otherwise is hereby specifically excluded.

Forgeries
20. Any amount paid by a buyer in respect of a Lot which, if it is proved within three (3) years of the date of the auction at which it was purchased, to have been a Forgery shall be refunded to the seller subject to the provisions hereof, provided that:
(a) The Lot has been returned by the buyer to the Auctioneer within three (3) years of the date of the auction in the same condition in which it was at the time of the auction together with evidence proving that it is a Forgery, the number of the Lot and the date of the auction at which it was purchased;
(b) The Auctioneer is satisfied that the Lot is a Forgery and that the buyer has and is able to transfer good and marketable title to the Lot free from any third party claims;


FURTHER PROVIDED THAT the buyer shall have no rights hereunder if:
(i) The description of the Lot in the Catalogue at the time of the auction was in accordance with the then generally accepted opinion of scholars or experts or fairly indicated that there was a conflict of such opinion;
(ii) The only method of establishing at the time of the auction in question that the Lot was a Forgery would have been by means of scientific processes which were not generally accepted for use until after the date of the auction or which were unreasonably expensive or impractical.
The buyer's sole entitlement under this condition is to a refund of the actual amount paid by him in respect of the Lot. Under no circumstances shall the Auctioneer be liable for any damage, loss (including consequential, indirect or economic loss) or expense suffered or incurred by the buyer by reason of the Lot being a Forgery.
The benefit of this condition shall be solely and exclusively for the buyer and shall not be assignable. The buyer shall for the purpose of this condition be the person to whom the original invoice in respect of the sale of the Lot is made.

Photographs
21. The buyer authorises the Auctioneer at any time to make use of any photographs or illustrations of the Lot purchased by the buyer for such purposes as the Auctioneer may require.
22. New VAT Regulations
22a) All lots are sold within the Auctioneer's VAT margin scheme. Revenue Regulations require that the buyers premium must be invoiced at a rate which is inclusive of VAT. This VAT is not recoverable by any VAT registered buyer.


Auctioneer's Right to Photographs and Illustrations
33. The seller authorises the Auctioneer to photograph and illustrate any Lot placed with if for sale and further authorises the Auctioneer to use such photographs and illustrations and any photographs and illustrations provided by the seller at any time in its absolute discretion (whether or not in connection with the auction).

VAT
34. It is presumed unless stated to the contrary, that the items listed herein are auction scheme goods as defined in the Finance Act 1995.


We recommend you read Important Information for Purchasers as detailed in the front of your sale catalogue which should be read in conjunction with our conditions of sale.

Please refer to our web site www.adams.ie for a full listing of our conditions of sale for both buyer and seller.

Shipping Terms

Adam's do not ship but outsource shipping requests to recommended 3rd party shipping companies, at buyer's expense & risk. Here is a list of our recommended shippers for your convenience https://www.adams.ie/General/recommended-shippers

Representations in Catalogues

Representations or statements made by the Auctioneer in any Catalogue as to contribution, authorship, genuineness, source, origin, date, age, provenance, condition or estimated selling price or value is a statement of opinion only. Neither the Auctioneer nor its employees, servants or agents shall be responsible for the accuracy of any such opinions. Every person interested in a Lot must exercise and rely on their own judgment and opinion as to such matters.
The headings of the conditions herein contained are inserted for convenience of reference only and are not intended to be part of, or to effect, the meaning or interpretation thereof.

The Commission

The buyer shall pay the Auctioneer a commission at the rate of 20% of the Hammer Price, exclusive of VAT at the applicable rate on all individual lots.

Payment

The Auctioneer shall only accept payment from successful bidders in cash, draft in Euro or by the bidder's own cheque drawn on an Irish bank account vouched to the satisfaction of the Auctioneer. Cheques drawn by third parties, whether in the Auctioneer's favour or requiring endorsement, shall not be accepted. We also accept all major Credit & Debit cards as well as payment through STRIPE, invaluables online payment portal. Whilst we accept American Express, there is a surcharge of 3.9% of the total invoice value. For payments made by card over the telephone we have strict procedures regarding shipping to the registered address as well as limits that can be transacted over the telephone. For more information contact [email protected]

VAT

It is presumed unless stated to the contrary, that the items listed herein are auction scheme goods as defined in the Finance Act 1995. (Current VAT rate in Ireland is 23%).