Highlighted Selection of Recent Acquisitions

1st June 2015 - 12:00 PM

The Kennel Club Collection has been very fortunate in the last quarter to have been supported by some spectacular donations, which the Library and Gallery Panel are pleased to be able to share with you here.

Ch Fairweather

The first to be mentioned is an original oil on canvas painting of Ch Fairweather, an Old English Sheepdog. It was painted by Margaret Collyer in 1906, and was part of a donation by Bob and Carol Martin of Arancee Old English Sheepdogs. In addition to the painting the donation also included the original gilded oak frame, a custom made display case containing two sets of medals achieved by Ch Fairweather in its lifetime, a display easel and a significant amount of provenance and research - some of which is reproduced for your interest here:

The painting and medals were purchased by Mr and Mrs Martin at auction at Bonhams in 1997. Although not familiar with buying art at auction they were determined to achieve their bid and retain these important pieces for the breed. Fending off other interested buyers, it was a nail biting finish with an adrenaline fuelled successful bid from Mr and Mrs Martin that brought the auctioneer's hammer down.

Pieces of this age frequently require some conservation, and this one was no different. Mr and Mrs Martin had the canvas relined as it had become brittle, and a historically accurate reproduction frame made - although they retained the original. In order to display the pieces for the interest of other breed enthusiasts, Mr and Mrs Martin had a special display case made for the many medals achieved by the dog, and a custom made easel to better showcase the medals and painting together. These became regular features of the breed club shows that Mr and Mrs Martin attended, and their commitment to having the pieces available for enjoyment, research and general learning purposes cannot be doubted.

Mr and Mrs Martin made the decision to donate to the Kennel Club as the pieces can be on display within the Kennel Club building, rather than entering a closed archive. It was important to them that the pieces remain available to view by any interested party, not just Breed enthusiasts and that these important pieces are retained for posterity.

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