Portrait of Le Grand Dauphin sparks international interest

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A collection of 39 novels and biographies by Dick Francis Click image for hi-res version
A portrait of the young Louis of France – Le Grand Dauphin – is attracting significant interest in the UK and across the Channel, prior to its auction in the Cotswolds next week.

The oil on canvas by Pierre Mignard (1612-1695), a French painter at the court of Louis XIV, features the heir to the French throne in child-size armour and a red cloak.

As an adult, Le Grand Dauphin would lead his father’s army into battle – against an alliance of troops from the Netherlands, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire during the Nine Years’ War – but he would never wear the crown.

He died from smallpox in 1711, at the age of 49, predeceasing his father.

The 60cm tall, oval-shaped half-length portrait, was last offered for sale in 1965, when it was bought by Joyce Lady Talbot de Malahide for her godson Valentine Bennett as a housewarming present.

It is expected to achieve between £15,000 and £20,000 when it goes under the hammer at the Selected Picture Sale at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on Friday, April 11.

The auction features paintings spanning five centuries. From the 19th century, Cattle Watering With Herdsman and Sheep on a Hillock – a 30cm wide oil on board by renowned British landscape artist Thomas Sidney Cooper – should achieve £3,000 to £5,000, while Tea at the Lacemaker’s Cottage, an oil on panel painted and signed by the Belgian artist Edward Portielje should attract bids of around £1,200 to £1,600.

From the 20th century, a 67cm wide watercolour of a Grouse by A Tree Trunk and Rocks, painted and signed in 1990 by the Cotswolds-based sporting artist Jonathan Sainsbury, is expected to achieve around £500 to £800.

From the 21st century, a series of three striking polo scenes in acrylic on canvas by the locally-based, Latvian born equestrian artist Vineta Sayer should achieve £300 to £500 a piece.

And staying in the equestrian world, the book section of the sale includes a collection of 39 novels and biographies by Dick Francis.

Many are first editions and most are signed. Titles include 1964’s Nerve right up to Shattered, published in 2000. A bid of £500 to £800 should secure the lot.

For a full auction catalogue, log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk

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