Lot 37
  • 37

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, R.A.

Estimate
40,000 - 60,000 GBP
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Description

  • Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, R.A.
  • Ziva, a Badger Dog Belonging to the Hereditary Prince of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
  • oil on canvas
  • 94 by 112cm., 37 by 44in.

Provenance

Given in 1842 by H.R.H. Queen Victoria to her brother-in-law Ernest, Duke Saxe-Coburg-Gotha and with him until at least 1874;
The Leicester Galleries, London;
Private collection, Austria;
Private collection, Holland

Exhibited

Royal Academy, 1842, no.141

Condition

The canvas has been lined. A faint craquelure pattern across the surface otherwise the work appears in good overall condition. Ultraviolet light reveals areas of retouching to the edges. Further flecks of retouching to the monkey and dog including a small repaired tear to the monkey's head and to the dog's tail. There is a larger area of retouching under the dog's belly approx. 10cm across that relates to a repaired hole in the canvas. Another more concentrated area of retouching to right corner of the chest and a repaired tear to the right of the peacock feather. Further areas of retouching in places to the canvas.
"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."

Catalogue Note

The present picture is a highly significant rediscovery of a painting that not only demonstrates Queen Victoria's famous love of animals but also the strong links between her European relatives. It was commissioned by the Queen as a gift for her brother-in-law, the Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. According to records at Windsor, she paid Landseer 150 guineas on 3 June 1842 where it is described as 'Picture of Prince Consort's Dog with the Monkey'. A watercolour by Georg Conrad Rothbart shows the painting hanging above a sofa at Schloss Callenberg c.1845 (Royal Collection). 

In 1891 James Dafforne described the present picture; ‘Of a third picture of this year (1842), 'Ziva, a badger-dog, belonging to the Hereditary Prince of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, not a beauty in itself, though of a glossy black colour: he has for a companion a monkey holding in his paw an apple, which he rapidly devours with unmistakeable relish ; the dog fixes his eye with intense meaning on the monkey, as if he felt half-disposed to "draw" him, after the manner of a badger.’

The picture depicts Ziva looking expectantly at an organ-grinder's dancing-monkey who is more interested in eating fruit than playing with the dog. The macaque is sitting beside his master's organ which is wrapped in its green cloth cover with leather carrying straps. The hat with its peacock feather, is of the type worn by Tyrolean musicians and the form of the drinking vessel is early eighteenth-century German faience.

Ziva was one of at least two dachshunds owned by Ernest II Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, the other named Sewa. A portrait of Sewa by Landseer was purchased by Prince Albert in December 1847 and placed in the Writing Room at Windsor Palace.

We are grateful to Richard Ormond for his assistance with the cataloguing of this lot.