Thorburn's 'Partridges' soar to £192,000 at 19th century paintings sale

An Archibald Thorburn painting, The Covey at Daybreak - Partridges, made £192,000 yesterday at Bonhams' auction of 19th Century Paintings. It is third-highest price ever paid for a Thorburn at auction. 

The painting was an exceptionally stunning and unusually large work for the Scottish artist, who had a life-long love of birds and was admired for his skill at producing accurate renderings of British wildlife. 

He gained a strong reputation among the great sportsmen of the day, including Edward VI and George V, for his accuracy and attention to detail with regard to the form, colouring and the plumage of the various game birds.

"Thorburn was one of Britain's most talented ornithological painters and we are delighted with the wonderful price achieved for The Covey at Daybreak - Partridges," said Charles O'Brien, Head of 19th Century Pictures at Bonhams.

Archibald Thorburn's painting, The Covey at Daybreak

Meanwhile, the top lot of the sale was a melancholy and atmospheric depiction of Glasgow Docks by John Atkinson Grimshaw. It doubled its lower pre-sale estimate to sell for £204,000.

John Atkinson Grimshaw was renowned for his depictions of city scenes, and this painting of the misty morning in the Victorian docks of Glasgow is a fine example.

"We were also thrilled with the result for the John Atkinson Grimshaw and the general success of the sale which demonstrates the enduring strength of the market for the best in Victorian art."


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