Sketches for 'the most iconic painting in golf' auction at Bonhams

Three missing preparatory oil sketches for one of golf most iconic pictures, "A Grand Match played over St Andrews Links in 1841" are to be sold by Bonhams at auction in Chester, tomorrow (June 16).

The paintings are portraits of three prominent gentlemen who feature in the picture including the Earl of Eglinton who founded the Open Championship in 1860 (estimated at £10,000 - 15,000). 

His two companions are Lord Viscount Valentia (£8,000 - 12,000, pictured top right) and John Campbell of Glensaddell (£8,000 - 12,000).

The Earl of Eglinton, painted by Charles Lees

They were painted by Charles Lees, one of the most distinguished of all golf artists, whose huge canvass - it is 7ft by 4ft 3 inches - commemorating a game at St Andrews in 1841 appeared in 1851.

The painting was sold for £2.2m in 2002 and now hangs in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh.

Today, 15 of Lees surviving preparatory sketches hang at the Royal and Ancient Club House in St Andrews. 


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