Paintings by town’s royal artist to be sold in America at canine art sale
9:25am Thursday 24th January 2013 in News
SEVEN paintings of dogs by Bolton’s royal artist — Reuben Ward Binks — are set to raise between £5,300 and £8,100 at an auction in America.
They are among around 200 paintings and sculptures — all of dogs — in a $1 million sale of canine art at Bonhams in New York on February 13.
One Binks picture alone — Champion Gordon Setter Peter of Crombie — could fetch between $2,000 and $3,000.
His work has previously sold well in the US.
At Sotheby’s in New York on June 5, 1992, his 1914 oil painting, Five Bulldogs On A Beach, sold for $17,600 dollars, which is the equivalent of £9,612. This remains the world auction record for a Binks work.
Sam Travers, an art specialist at auctioneers Bonhams, told The Bolton News: “Reuben Ward Binks’s profile portraits are among his most memorable works.
“This is demonstrated by the head portraits of Setters in the forthcoming sale.
“They show just why he has become one of the most collected of canine artists in recent years.”
Binks’ family lived in Ralph Street, Halliwell, and his father, John, was a watchmaker. After leaving Manchester Grammar School, Reuben started his working life as an apprentice watchmaker.
He later worked as an optician before he became a full-time artist.
The Queen now owns 15 paintings by Binks, 11 of which are in her private apartments at Sandringham, Norfolk.
They include a 1929 watercolour of King George V shooting woodcock.
Another important Binks client was the wealthy American heiress, Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge, the favourite niece of multi-millionaire oil magnate, John D. Rockefeller.
Mr Binks painted more than 200 portraits of Mrs Dodge’s champion dogs.
Charles O’Brien, director of the 19th century art department at Bonhams, said: “Reuben Ward Binks is highly regarded in America and worked for notable families there such as the Rockefellers.”
Binks died in 1950.