In an age of great change and modernity, past depictions of the British landscape can often take us back to what was perceived as a slower more pastoral age. Some of the lots being offered in our September fine art sale are mid to late 19th century watercolour folios by amateur hands. I use the word ‘amateur’ advisedly as these works are of great quality and reflect why watercolour was known as the ‘English Art’ by our continental neighbours in the 19th century. One of the most striking folios is a series of views of the Thames around Windsor and Eton. The bucolic views immediately remind the viewer of great literary classics such as Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome or the Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. This importance of the British landscape in our national conscience continues to this day and perhaps more so than other countries because we were the first modern industrialised nation. I live and work in the Welsh borders and I am constantly struck by the beauty of our country and how in many ways the rural landscape has endured.
All areas of Britain are represented in the auction with views of Scottish Lochs to Welsh valleys or the Lake District to the Thames Valley. To my continued surprise the market currently shuns many of these works as not fashionable and I believe this represents a unique buying opportunity for those interested in the history of our national landscape. An opportunity to buy high quality works which will become rarer as we race through the 21st century and which are currently a fraction of their value 50 years ago. Perhaps now is the time in the words of Warren Buffet to be ‘Greedy where others are fearful’ and start buying early British watercolours.
For more information, contact James Forster
Phone: 01743 450 700