Bonhams sells 'stunning bird paintings' art collection of JC Harrison

A private collection of over 100 paintings by the ornithological artist J.C. Harrison is to be offered for auction on Wednesday 25 January 2012, at Bonhams New Bond Street, London.

The works are from the collection of the renowned wildlife photographer Terry Andrewartha who worked for the UK Anglia TV programme Survival for 20 years and also made seven films for them. 

Survival was one of television's longest-running and most successful nature documentary series.  In 1999 Andrewartha won the British Gas Wildlife Photographer of the Year. 

In the 1970s he met JC Harrison - they both lived in Norfolk - and the two remained good friends until the artist's death in 1985.

Wildlife Trust

John Cyril Harrison (1898-1985) lived and worked in Norfolk for many years.  He was a keen supporter of Norfolk Wildlife Trust and practised taxidermy in order to improve his knowledge of bird anatomy.

Aylmer Tryon (founder of Tryon Gallery) believed his paintings of birds in flight surpassed even those of Archibald Thorburn, with whom the artist studied. 


Grouse in snowy landscape
Grouse in Snowy Landscape (£8,000-12,000)

He is particularly known for his ability to capture the movement of birds in flight, and the collection includes watercolours of golden eagles, snipe, herons, curlews, ptarmigan, grouse, swans, geese, owls, partridges and golden plovers amongst others.

Highlights include The First Drive (£6,000-8,000), Grouse in Snowy Landscape (£8,000-12,000) and On the Alert (£5,000-7,000).

Art sketchbooks

Peter Rees of Bonhams 19th Century Paintings Department, comments, "We're delighted to be offering this unique and varied collection by a very gifted wildlife painter. 

"The auction includes an excellent range of subjects and estimates to suit all tastes and collectors - ranging from some of the artist's sketchbooks at £400-600 to some of his finest works at higher prices."

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