Travel across Scotland, Wales, England, France and Italy in Christie’s Dramas of Light and Land: The Martyn Gregory Collection of British Art online, from 10 to 24 March.
A remarkable survey of British art, the collection predominantly comprises works on paper, from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. Martyn Gregory, a renowned St James’s dealer of British Drawings and Historical Pictures relating to China, India, and South-East Asia, is offering these British works as part of scaling back his business, having recently entered his 80th year.
A true connoisseur collector-dealer, Martyn’s notable eye is well-known in the field, resulting in a collection that successfully spans centuries and movements to tell a broad and far-reaching story of the history of this section of British art. The strength and breadth of the collection, as well as the remarkable condition and presentation of the pictures, are testament to Martyn’s skill and knowledge as a dealer and Specialist.
The landscape is the dominant theme throughout, including works by John Sell Cotman and both John and Paul Nash, portraiture, still-life and interiors are also represented. Featuring 198 lots, estimates range from £700 to £50,000.
The top lot of the sale is an imposing Daniel Gardner, Portrait of the Drake Family (estimate: £30,000-50,000). Further highlights include: Samuel Scott, Rochester Castle, Kent, from the north-west (estimate: £15,000-25,000); John Sell Cotman, A ruined Roman aqueduct (estimate: £15,000-20,000); David Cox, The Promenade at Aberystwyth (estimate: £15,000-20,000);
William Turner of Oxford, Dawn, Loch Torridon (estimate: £15,000-20,000); Peter De Wint, A Summer landscape (estimate: £15,000-20,000); Edward Dodwell, The Phlegraean Fields (estimate: £12,000-18,000); Thomas Girtin, A Watermill (estimate: £12,000-18,000); George Fennel Robson, Scene on the Isle of Skye (estimate: £10,000-15,000; John Varley, Cader Idris (estimate: £8,000-12,000); Richard Parkes Bonington, The ruins of Chateau d’Harcourt, near Lillebonne (estimate: £6,000-8,000).
Annabel Kishor, Head of Sale, British Drawings, Christie’s London: “We are delighted to be offering the Martyn Gregory collection. It is a really exceptional survey of British watercolour paintings from the 18th to 20th Centuries, including many of the great names of the Golden Age.
Martyn’s connoisseurial eye is evident throughout, as is his attention to detail in choosing examples in fantastic condition, and presenting them beautifully. Much of the collection has not been exhibited or on the market since the 1970s or 1980s, and so it has been a pleasure to ‘re-discover’ these works.”
Martyn Gregory: “I first began my art dealing career 57 years ago. With gallery premises off New Bond Street, then on Albemarle Street and for the last 44 years on Bury Street, St James’s, I have specialised predominantly in English watercolours and drawings.
As I am entering my 80th year I shall be scaling back and will no longer deal in British drawings, instead of concentrating on the other side of our business: historical and topographical pictures relating to China, India and South-East Asia by both travelling Western and Eastern artists. Our love of early British drawings remains undiminished.”