Lot 66
  • 66

Sir Alfred James Munnings, P.R.A., R.W.S.

125,000 - 175,000 USD
112,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • J.V. Rank's Horses: Studies of Black Speck and Knights Armour
  • signed A.J. Munnings and dated 1940 (lower left); inscribed Black Speck (lower center) and Knight's Armour (lower right); signed Alfred Munnings, initialed AJM, dated 1940, and inscribed Mr. J.V. Ranks Horses / Studies of Black Speck / & Knight's Armour / Druids Lodge Witts / Knights Armour a close study of this horse (on the reverse)
  • oil on panel
  • 15  3/4  x 23  1/2  inches


The Leicester Galleries, London
J.V. Rank, Druids Lodge, Wiltshire (acquired from the above)
Frost & Reed, London (acquired from the above)
Sale: Sotheby's, London, November 2, 1983, lot 115, illustrated
Sale: Christie's, New York, June 6, 1986, lot 173, illustrated
Sale: Doyle's, New York, May 5, 1993, lot 105, illustrated
Private Collection, Florida (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, June 1, 2000, lot 157, illustrated
Private Collection, New York (acquired at the above sale and sold, Sotheby's, New York, December 2, 2005, lot 147, illustrated)
Acquired at the above sale


London, The Leicester Galleries, "The English scene": horses, racing, landscapes, and studies by Sir Alfred James Munnings P.R.A., October-November 1947, no. 110


Sir Alfred Munnings, The Finish, London, 1952, p. 62, illustrated opposite p. 65 

Catalogue Note

In 1934, James V. Rank bought the famous Druids Lodge on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire and hired Noel Cannon as his private trainer. The present work is a sketch for the large commissioned painting Horse Conversation Piece, 1940: Mr. J.V. Rank's Three Horses, Southern Hero, Black Speck, and Knight's Armour, which was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1948 as no. 212. 

Black Speck by Black Witch out of Little Mark was a fierce competitor, winning fourteen of forty starts, including the Coventry stakes at Ascot, the Newbury Summer Cup, the Liverpool Autumn Cup, and the Sporting Cup twice.

Knight's Armour by Sir Cosmo out of Fario won six races at two years of age.  At three, he won three of four starts, including the Fern Hill Stakes at Royal Ascot.