On The Square

The Appeal of Sporting Art

By Bidsquare

Apr 26,2016 | 14:55 EDT

Sporting art has long captured the thrill of the hunt, the elegance of equestrian activities, and the allure of the wilderness. Spanning from the 16th century to present day, this expansive niche depicts a variety of sports from the lush English countryside to the exotic plains of Africa. First to mind are scenes of active horseracing in the late 19th century prior to the widespread use of photography. However, the genre spreads to include duck decoys, antique hunting and fishing equipment, trophies, and even motorcars. The appeal lies in its ability to be both academic and decorative.

Preening Black Duck sold at Copley Fine Art Auctions in July 2015 for $210,000


William Joseph Shayers Lord Lyon Winning the Derby at Epsom, 1866 sold at The Sporting Art Auction in November 2015 for $51,750

The second session of The Cobbs Auctioneers’ April 30th auction features an array of sporting art and objects, including property from a vast collection of antique golf clubs and ephemera. Of note is lot 212, the First Presidents Cup Trophy from 1907.

First Presidents Cup Trophy, 1907 in The Cobbs Auction April 30th

The First Presidents Cup (now known as the Isham Cup) is an annual amateur tournament held at Ekwanok Country Club in Manchester, Vermont. The tournament was first organized in 1899, and is considered one of the oldest and most prestigious tournaments in American golf. The prestigious Ekwanok course is also the subject of lot 211, a lovely watercolor by the renowned painter, Sears Gallagher.

Sears Gallaghers watercolor on paper of golfers playing at Ekwanok golf course, Manchester, Vermont in The Cobbs April 30th Auction

Gallagher studied painting at Academie Julien in Paris, and worked for most of his life in his native New England. Aside from these lots, the sale features an array of antique golf clubs, ephemera, and books, as well as a small collection of antique fishing accessories, books, art, and boats.