Sotheby's, London, 22 July 1986, lot 149 Csaky's Antiques, London, by August 1986
Born in Farmington, Gloucestershire in 1781, John Miles was listed in the 1841 census, at the age of 60, as an artist, along with one of his sons Henry who was also a painter. Miles specialised in rustic scenes, often depicting prize winning animals and contemporary everyday scenes and events, painted in a charming and characteristically provincial style. His oeuvre has been easily constructed on the basis that he was a prolific signer and dater, giving evidence that the bulk of his work was executed between circa 1820 and 1840. Although religious subjects are rare in his output, the subject of Adam naming the animals allowed him to experiment with more exotic species. Another signed version of reduced dimensions, which differs in the arrangement of the animals, was sold in these rooms 11 July 1984, lot 29.
The canvas has been lined and the paint is thin in places but this does not compromise the integrity of the picture in anyway. The paint surface is in very good overall condition otherwise, with no apparent damage or loss of paint. Examination under ultraviolet reveals cosmetic very minor scattered flecks of retouching and some retouching to a minor superficial surface scratch lower right running through the ostriches. Otherwise the picture is in good ready to hang condition. Offered in a varnished wood frame with a gold painted slip in good overall condition. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."