Buyer hunts down Charles Lutyens hounds

The Victorian Conservative politician Lord Coventry is believed to have commissioned this portrait of favourite hounds Rambler and Marksman.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Gabriel Berner

Rambler and Marksman in a landscape with other hounds of the Croome Hunt by Charles H Lutyens – £18,000 at Brightwells.

Painted in 1880 by Charles H Lutyens (1829-1915), an artist better known today for his depictions of cherubs, the 4ft x 6ft 4in (1.22 x 1.93m) oil on canvas had hung in the collection at Croome Court in Worcestershire before it was dispersed in a country house sale in 1948.

In her article on the Croome Hounds for Country Life in c.1950, Daphne Moore wrote of the hound Rambler: “Who could have dreamed that in 1949 well-bred hounds in almost every kennel in England would have at least a trace of Rambler’s blood in their veins?… Anyone who has seen his portrait by Lutyens will remember him as being the perfect type of hound for any age and any country…”

In 1995 the portrait turned up at Leominster saleroom Brightwells (22% buyer’s premium), where it sold for £13,000, a record sum for a Lutyens work at auction.

Consigned to the same rooms again more than two decades later on November 14-15 with an estimate of £8000-12,000, it broke its own record. Competed for by several bidders, it was knocked down to a phone buyer at £18,000.