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Bird painting collection sold for £3,800,000…Thorburn’s Birds.

July 15, 2011

Thorburn’s Bird Paintings Hit Record Prices

Archibald Thorburn was an inspiration for me as a youngster, in fact, I saved for weeks to buy one of his books (The Illustrated Thorburn’s Birds) The sale of his works was conducted by Bonhams of New Bond street, London. If you have serious money to spend then this London street has some of top pueveyors of high class fashion and jewellery as well as fine art paintings for you to open your wallet. But back to the paintings…

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Peacock and Peacock Butterfly

Archibald Thorburn (British, 1860-1935)
87.5 xm 111cm (34 7/16 x 43 11/16in). £252,000.

Archibald Thorburn (1860-1935)

Thorburn is considered to be one of the top ten of  bird illustrators in the UK. Hugh Gladstone wrote in Thorburn’s obituary …I remember the whole as a riot of colour…both magnificent and accurate. Thorburn later recalled how he had nightmares of endlessly painting the eyes on the Peacock tail feathers.

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Danger aloft – Ptarmigan
watercolour and bodycolour
52.5 x 75cm (20 11/16 x 29 1/2in) sold for £156,000.

‘High amid the mists clinging to a hillside within the Forest of Gaick in Inverness-shire, a covey of ptarmigan feeds leisurely yet alert. A small herd of red deer have reached the shoulder of the hill in their restless, never-ending quest for food. A single stag has lagged behind, possibly old or sick, and saunters down from the summit to rejoin the others. Suddenly, out of the mists boiling up from the depths of the corrie, a golden eagle appears and the ptarmigan instantly crouch and ‘freeze’, their autumnal plumage blending to perfection with the boulders and herbage of this high place. They squat, motionless, trusting in their camouflage for survival, waiting for the danger to pass. The deer, also startled by the abrupt apparition of the eagle, stand and stare, mistrusting the huge bird gliding and soaring on outstretched wings above the ridge’Winter Woodcock painting by Archibald Thorburn, Archibald Thorburn wildlife artist, Archibald Thorburn paintings for sale,These are just a few from Thorburn’s collection, for me I used it along side my Observer book of Birds to gain knowledge…there wasnt any computers when I started my interest in birds…I had to rely on the artists observational and technical skills.

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