Arts & Crafts basic “The Black Mare” to go under the hammer

The Black Mare, by William Simmonds (1876-1968), has a pre-auction estimate of between £60,000 and £80,000. It is being sold on November 21.
The Black Mare, by William Simmonds (1876-1968), has a pre-auction estimate of in between £60,000 and £80,000. It is getting sold on November 21. © Chorley’s Auctioneers

A stunning function by Royal Academician and 1 of the primary proponents of the Arts and Crafts movement, William Simmonds, is to be bought at auction later this 12 months.

The piece currently being offered by Gloucestershire auction household Chorley’s is The Black Mare, which depicts a stylised horse turning to nip a fly on its near-aspect fetlock. It stands at 48cm x 76 x 41cm.

The Black Mare was designed in Simmonds’ famed Gloucestershire studio and dates from 1925. It will be available together with a selection of other objects from his studio, these types of as his resource chest, a set of wallpaper designs and an oil sketch in Chorley’s Modern Artwork & Style sale on Tuesday, November 21.

William Simmonds (1876-1968) experienced as an architect for 4 several years before endeavor good art education at the Royal School of Artwork in 1893 and then at the Royal Academy educational facilities for 5 years. He received a adhering to in the 1920s for his spectacular wooden and ivory carvings of the two wild and domestic animals, in which he impressed with his one of a kind ability to capture the accurate mother nature of his subject matter.

Subsequent Entire world War I he was identified as on to style and design tanks and aeroplanes with aviation engineer Sir Geoffrey de Havilland. Simmonds and his spouse Eve Peart, whom he married in 1912, (who was also an artist and researched at The Slade), settled in the Cotswold village of Far Oakridge, in which he set up a workshop. He cultivated friendships with other prominent creatives, such as designers Sidney Barnsley and Fred Gardiner, textile printers Barron and Larcher and ceramicists and painters Alfred and Louise Powell, among other people.

The Black Mare demonstrates Simmonds’ knowledge and admiration for Japanese art, in his use of black lacquer as a complete and his passion for wood carving, which is obvious in the use of mahogany as a product. The ideas of simplicity and all-natural splendor align with the philosophy of the Arts and Crafts motion that Simmonds was so integral to. He noticed natural beauty in the animals and character all-around him and was capable to capture them as static creatures, frozen for a moment in their pure habitat, a ability that received him globally acclaim as a person of the greatest sculptors of the movement.

The Arts and Crafts movement emerged from the try to reform design and style and decoration in mid-19th century Britain. It became an intercontinental pattern in the decorative and fantastic arts that developed earliest and most absolutely in the British Isles and subsequently unfold throughout the British Empire and to the relaxation of Europe and The us.

Archive image of William Simmonds in his Gloucestershire studio in 1925. The Black Mare can be seen in the background. Simmonds also carved puppets, and he and his wife, Eve Peart, ran a puppet theatre from about 1919 up to the 1930s.
Archive graphic of William Simmonds in his Gloucestershire studio in 1925. The Black Mare can be witnessed in the qualifications. Simmonds also carved puppets, and he and his spouse, Eve Peart, ran a puppet theatre from about 1919 up to the 1930s.

Simmonds began working on The Black Mare in 1925 without a distinct shopper in thoughts and a photograph exists of him, with the unfinished sculpture in his studio. The Black Mare was bought the following 12 months though on exhibition at the Arts & Crafts Exhibition Society, in which it was procured for £500 by the non-public collector George Eumorfopoulos, who experienced a enthusiasm for the Orient and later on started the Oriental Ceramic Society.

The Black Mare went proudly on display screen in his Chelsea Embankment household, together with crucial Renaissance and Medieval Artwork and 18th-century porcelain. It would later go on personal loan for an exhibition at Cheltenham Art Gallery, along with the celebrated Anglo-American sculptor Jacob Epstein (1880-1959) and all over again at the exact same gallery in 1968.

All through this time it had handed to its new operator, Elizabeth, the Countess Northesk (1906-1991) and correspondence between Simmonds and the Countess talking about The Black Mare will be provided together with the do the job at auction. In a letter of 1955 from Simmonds to Northesk he states: “I have been requested to lend some critical items of my work for the Cheltenham Modern day Art pageant and as I consider The Black Mare to be perhaps my finest do the job …”, in a further more letter soon after the show was accomplished, he wrote of the Mare “…for section of the time it was struggling with Epstein’s Genesis. Later on Genesis was eradicated to a different place leaving the mare triumphant”. It then handed to a private collector, who is the present owner.

A letter between Simmonds and the Countess Northesk about The Black Mare. © Chorley's Auctioneers
A letter concerning Simmonds and the Countess Northesk about The Black Mare. The letter is also becoming presented for sale. © Chorley’s Auctioneers

Chorley’s Director Thomas Jenner-Fust claimed parts William Simmonds seldom arrive to auction. “We are delighted to have the chance to provide probably the most essential work in his oeuvre.

“Such was his contribution to both the Arts and Crafts motion, but also to his nearby community and the broader arts marketplace, it is a wonderful honour to current these a historic embodiment of what Simmonds was seeking to attain and did so magnificently. The Black Mare is the most imposing, monumental and striking of Simmonds works,” Jenner-Fust mentioned.

The Black Mare carries an estimate of £60,000 to £80,000.

Offside view of The Black Mare, by William Simmonds.
Offside see of The Black Mare, by William Simmonds (1876-1968). © Chorley’s Auctioneers

• Get a notification when a new post is posted: