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    The Bitch Pack of the Meath Foxhounds by the Victorian painter John Emms (1843-1912) made £225,000 at a behind closed doors sale at Bonhams in London today. It had been estiamted at £180,000-250,000 and was originally scheduled for auction in April. The British Impressionist art sale achieved £1.4 million with 70% sold by lot and 70% sold by value.

    In this unusually large work – it is 40 x 60 inches – Emms (British 11843-1912) employed fluid brush strokes to give weight and solidity to the different physical characteristics of the dogs as well as their individual temperaments. It is known that the artist walked to the kennels every day and returned to his studio with one hound after another so he could make detailed preliminary sketches which he then worked up into the overall composition.

    Hunting with hounds is a tradition in Ireland that goes back to ancient times and features strongly in Celtic literature and legend. There is a pack recorded in the Meath area as early as 1723, although the Meath Hunt itself dates from 1817. The Bitch Pack of the Meath Foxhounds was painted in 1896 when the famous John Watson was Master, his mastership spanning 1891-1908.

    (See post on for February 24, 2020)

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