A PAINTING by Bolton’s “royal artist” Reuben Ward Binks has sold for more than £3,000 at auction in New York.
The picture, entitled Seasonal Resolutions, features Labrador retrievers and English springer spaniels sitting around a boardroom table on New Year’s Day, in 1930, with an open ledger and a shotgun on the table.
The painting turned out to be the most valuable of eight by Binks in the annual Dogs In Show And Field auction at Bonhams, which sold for a total of £10,000.
Sam Travers, an art expert at auctioneers Bonhams, said: “Reuben Ward Binks was a master at capturing the specific poses of all breeds of dogs, in the field and at home.
“Seasonal Resolutions shows how he was also a master of anthropomorphic poses with a great sense of humour. Binks was a Boltonian, who is now collected worldwide.”
The artist, born in Bolton in 1880, specialised in dogs and he is a favourite of the Queen, who owns 15 of his works. And 11 of his paintings are in the Queen’s private apartments at Sandringham, in Norfolk. They include a 1929 watercolour of King George V shooting woodcock.
Binks spent his early years at 8 Ralph Street, Halliwell. His father, John Binks, had a watchmaker’s business at 3 Blackburn Road. Although he trained to follow in his father’s footsteps as a watchmaker and optician, his real passion from childhood was for painting.
The family moved from Bolton to Prestwich, and Reuben attended Manchester Grammar School. He later studied at Manchester Art School.