19th-Century British Dog Portrait

Value (2012) | $12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction

She was kept at Captain's Head, which was a farm in Scotland. She came down through my grandfather's side through my mother. There is a reference to her, 1789, in a manuscript. Her name was Bottoms, which I believe meant "stamina" in Old English-- I'm not 100% certain on that. She never lost a race. Um, other than that, and the fact that she's against an Italian background, I believe, that's all I know about her.

It is a wonderful portrait, and as I'm sure you know, British art history has a great tradition of portraits, and that came to include their animals as well-- their dogs, their horses and other livestock. Unfortunately, the piece is not signed, but I would date it to around 1830. And it's in the tradition of the great animal artists such as George Stubbs, and continuing through artists such as Gilpin. I don't believe the frame is original to the piece. I suspect that it would have been in a much more elegant frame than this later 19th-century frame. In terms of the value of the piece, even though it's unsigned, I think it's a great example of English animal portraiture and I would estimate it at auction between $12,000 and $18,000.

Good heavens, unbelievable.

She's come up a winner again.

Yes, she has indeed. Bless her heart.

Appraisal Details

Colleene Fesko Works of Art
Boston, MA
Update (2012)
$12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
Appraised value (2007)
$12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
San Antonio, TX (July 14, 2007)
November 12, 2012: We contacted appraiser Colleene Fesko for an updated appraisal in today's market.

Current Appraised Value: $12,000 - $18,000 (Unchanged)

Fesko adds, "While a solidly 19th-century picture (a period that has taken a beating in the recent economic downturn) and by an unknown artist, the high quality of the painting and consistently desirable subject ultimately rule the day. Images of our pets continue to create eager 'tail-wagging' in the market."

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