• Item: Victorian game bird painting
• Artist: Abel Hold
• Medium: Oil on board
• Circa: 1868
• Period: Victorian
• Provenance: England, UK
• Autumnal woodland scene
• Depicts a shot woodcock bird
• Extremely well painted
• Natural colours
• Pleasing subject
• Original gilt frame
• Signed & dated
• Excellent original condition
• Height: 57cm / 22½” / 1ft 10½”
• Width: 67cm / 26⅜” / 2ft 2⅜”
• Free delivery to England, Wales & southern Scotland*
• 14-day free UK returns policy
This is a fine quality antique English Victorian game bird painting, by Abel Hold, circa 1868, in its original gold leaf frame, in excellent original condition. The painting depicts a country scene depicting a shot woodcock bird in the woodland undergrowth, during the autumn months. The painting has the skill to draw you in with its range of rustic colour hues and textures, depicting a quintessential English woodland scene, most likely painted during the autumn. The Victorian oil picture on board is signed and dated in the bottom right corner, framed in its original fabulous ornate gilt frame, which is in excellent condition.
This Victorian bird painting would look superb in a variety of rooms, including the hallway, living or dining room. This item would certainly grace any home and is a great investment as it is an attractive and colourful piece. So don’t miss out on your chance to own a lovely picture.
This is a fine quality antique English Victorian game bird painting, of a woodland scene depicting a shot woodcock bird in the undergrowth, by Abel Hold, circa 1868, in its original gold leaf frame, in excellent original condition. The oil on board is in excellent original condition – the colours are strong and there is no sign of fading or crazing to the picture. The painting is signed and dated in the bottom right corner, protected by glass and housed in its original fabulous ornate gilt frame, which is in excellent condition. Nominal old age marks to the leading edges of the gilt frame, but nothing significant, considering the age of the item. This Victorian woodland painting is ready to hang.
Artist – Provenance:
Abel Hold was a self-taught British artist who achieved fame as an animal and game painter and flourished between 1849 – 1871. He also painted and drew landscapes in and around Barnsley as well as painting portraits of the locals. It is believed he made his own paints by grinding pebbles for pigment. He exhibited mostly at the Royal Academy and Suffolk Street always painting his game birds from nature, he was renowned for his accurate detail. His work was usually done on artist’s board. He lived in Yorkshire.
Abel Hold was born in Alverthorpe, Wakefield, one of 9 children of Quakers Thomas and Mary Hold. He trained as a house painter, whilst also painting backdrops for theatres and travelling showmen, before finally became an artist.
In 1841 he married Sarah Miller of Barnsley and with her had 9 children, though tragically lost 2 daughters in infancy. Around 1852, he moved his family from Church Street, Barnsley to Brook House in Cawthorne village a few miles away.
Here Walter Spencer-Stanhope of Cannon Hall became his lifelong patron after the vicar, Charles Spencer Stanhope, recommended him. Hold was constantly in financial difficulties and in 1869 he was declared bankrupt but was discharged in 1870. When he was short of money, he sent a portrait of a starving man to Walter and duly received funds.
His oil paintings show rural landscapes, wild animals and still life studies of game. They are typical of a country artist patronised by a local country squire. Between 1849 and 1871, he regularly exhibited at the Royal Academy, London. Other paintings were shown in Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wakefield.
They were bought by many local and national dignitaries and are occasionally sold at auction. Some can be seen at the Cawthorne Jubilee Museum and at Cannon Hall, Cawthorne. Three of his beautiful portraits of local characters are at the Cooper Gallery, Barnsley.
His contemporaries included Walter’s brother, John Roddam Spencer-Stanhope, a well- known Pre-Raphaelite painter and J.F. Herring, the renowned 19th century horse painter. Herring commented on Hold’s work in a letter to his friend and patron Charles Spencer Stanhope. Three of Hold’s children became artists in their own right, Thomas, Benjamin and Florence.
Abel Hold died in Cawthorne on 8th May 1896 and was buried in Cawthorne churchyard. His grave seems to have been gradually forgotten until local people campaigned to have a memorial erected there in 1996.
Sources: http://barnsleyartonyourdoorstep.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Abel-Hold.pdf and http://www.traceyhebron.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/ABEL-HOLD.pdf
Frame Height = 57cm / 22½” / 1ft 10½”
Frame Width = 67cm / 26⅜” / 2ft 2⅜”
Frame Depth = 6.8cm / 2⅝”
Board Height = 34.5cm / 14⅝” / 1ft 1⅝”
Board Width = 44.5cm / 17½” / 1ft 5½”
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