• Durham from the Fields -
    Price on request

    Signed lower centre: T. Boys 1830

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour, gum arabic and scratching out

    9.3 by 16 cm., 3 ¾ by 6 ¼ in.



    Norman D. Newall (1888–1952), his sale, Christie’s, 13th December 1979, lot 9, where bought by the father of the present owners



    Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Laing Art Gallery, Coronation Exhibition, 1953, no.45


    Born in London, Boys was apprenticed to the engraver George Cooke until 1823 when he moved to Paris. There he befriended Richard Parkes Bonington and taught William Callow and Ambrose Poynter before returning to London in 1837.


    This watercolour dates from one of Boys’ trips back to England in the early 1830s when he visited various parts of the north of England. His greatest watercolours date from this period.


    Boys drew two later views of Durham Cathedral seen from the river (see James Roundell, Thomas Shotter Boys, 1974, p. 168, plates 74 and 75).

  • Figures in a Cornfield -
    Price on request

    Watercolour over traces of pencil heightened with scratching out

    17.6 by 23.1 cm., 6 ¾ by 9 in.

    This early work, dating from the 1830s, was drawn in France and shows the influence of Bonington.

  • Kranichstein, Castle, Darmstadt, Germany -
    Price on request

    Watercolour over traces of pencil, heightened with touches of bodycolour

    Signed, dated and inscribed: Krantchstein/T.S. Boys 63 (lower left)

    33 by 45.4 cm., 13 by 18 in.



    London, The New Watercolour Society, 1863, no. 179, as after a sketch by Mr Montague Cooke.


    Boys travelled extensively throughout his life, both in Britain and through Europe. His sister Mary and brother-in-law William John Cooke, cousin of the celebrated marine artist Edward William Cooke, R.A. (1811-1880) and fellow pupil of George Cooke, moved to Darmstadt in 1840 and Boys visited them several times between 1842-3.


    Montague Cooke after whose work, this watercolour is based, is possibly William Montague Cooke, Boys’ nephew, who gave drawing lessons to the children of Princess Alice, grand duchess of Hesse and of Rhine.


    The family of Hessen-Darmstadt ruled the Darmstadt area of Germany from the mid-16th century. In 1578, Count George I, commissioned the palatial Jagdschloss Kranichstein to be built in the north of the city, as his hunting lodge, surrounded by vast forests. In 1917, the palace was opened as a museum and the complex today also includes a small natural history museum, a hotel and restaurant, with a huge public park on the former hunting grounds.

  • View of the High, Oxford with the Church of St. Mary?s -

    Signed lower right: Thos Boys. 1833

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with touches of bodycolour

    19.7 by 22.7cm., 7 3/4 by 9 inches


    This is a view looking east down High St taken from near the junction of Cornmarket St and St Aldate?s. Boys was living in Paris in the early 1830s, making occasional short trips back to England. A view of Jesus College, Oxford, dated 1832, was sold at Sotheby?s on 26th November 1998, lot 61 for ?8,200



    Anonymous sale, Phillip?s, 14th May 1996, lot 30;

    With Spink?s, London;

    Private Collection until 2008

  • Beddgelert Bridge, North Wales -

    Watercolour heightened with bodycolour and scratching out

    32 by 45cm., 12 1/2 by 17 3/4 inches


    Beddgelert is a village on the border of Carnarvonshire and Merionethshire, four miles south of Snowdon. This is likely to date from between 1859 and 1866 when Boys exhibited a number of Welsh views



    Artist?s studio sale;

    An Estate sale, Sotheby?s, 10th October 1974, lot 8;

    With John Manning Gallery, London

  • Rue St Germain l?Auxerrois, Paris -

    Indistinctly signed and dated 1831 lower left and inscribed lower right: Rue St Germain L?auxerrois 1831


    16.9 by 22.1cm., 6 1/2 by 8 3/4 inches


    Boys lived in Paris from 1823 until 1837, working as an engraver, lithographer and later watercolourist. A watercolour by Boys, taken from a similar viewpoint was sold at Sotheby?s on 26th November 1998, lot 83 (?13,000) and was purportedly published as a lithograph in 1830. A similar drawing to this is in the Mus?e Carnavalet, Paris. Caf? Momus, which is the building to the right, is the setting for most of the second act of Puccini?s `La Boh?me?



    Anonymous sale, Oger and Semont, Paris, 27th May 1991, lot 81;

    Private Collection until 2008

  • Coast Scene, Trouville, Normandy -

    Signed lower right: TS Boys. 1830. and signed on label attached verso: No 1./Coast scene. Trouville, Normandy./T Boys. 4 Greek Street.

    Oil on board

    20.3 by 26.1 cm., 8 by 10 ¼ in.



    London, Suffolk Street, Society of British Artists, 1830, no. 413

  • Coast Scene, Le Havre, Normandy -

    Signed lower left: TS Boys/1830 and signed on label attached verso: No 2./Coast scene. Havre./Thos Boys, 44 Greek Street.

    Oil on board

    20.3 by 25.3 cm., 8 by 10 in.



    London, Suffolk Street, Society of British Artists, 1830, no. 390

  • The Grote Kerk, Dordrecht -

  • A Horse and Cart on a Country Road -

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and stopping out

    10.3 by 19.1 cm.,4 by 7 inches


    This early work by Boys dates stylistically from the early 1830s and shows the strong influence that Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) exerted on him at this period. A Horse and Cart on a country road was a popular motif for Bonington and Boys is known to have copied a similar work by him (see Patrick Noon, Richard Parkes Bonington ? the Complete Paintings, 2008, no. 121, ill.). Bonington had moved to France with his family in 1817 and was in Paris by 1820. He quickly established himself as an artist and his first exhibits at the Salon in 1824 were met with great acclaim. Meanwhile Boys began his apprenticeship to the engraver George Cooke in London in 1817 and in 1823 he arrived in Paris to begin a career as an engraver and subsequently a watercolourist. There were few British artists in Paris at the time and Boys and Bonington would no doubt quickly have become acquainted. Although Bonington was only two months older than Boys, he strongly influenced the latter?s work in the late 1820s and early 1830s. Boys returned to England in 1837 but his work from the 1830s and early 1840s is considered his best.

  • A Street, Leipzig -

    Signed lower right: Leipzig/Thos Boys 1860.

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and stopping out

    44.9 by 35.1 cm., 17 ? by 13 ? inches



    Anonymous sale, Christie?s, 14th July 1987, lot 233;

    With Spinks, London, where bought by the present owner



    London, Fine Art Society, April 1962, no.94


    This is a view of Leipzig?s Old Town Hall clock tower, painted from Katharinen Strasse looking towards the old market square.  Although the old town hall building dates from the 16th century, the clock tower, with its distinctive Baroque dome was built in the 18th century.  The building beyond the tower still stands, overlooking the market square.  Built during the 17th century, it is known as the Kings House, as it was used as accommodation by Czar Peter the Great, August the Strong and Frederick the Great.  Only one of the buildings in the foreground still stands, the rest were destroyed during World War II.


    Boys visited Leipzig in 1846. A watercolour of Leipzig dated that year was sold at Christie?s on 8th July 1955, lot 50. Another view of Leipzig showing the same clock tower from a different angle is dated 1857 and recorded in a private collection (see James Roundell, Thomas Shotter Boys, 1974, pl.99).

  • The Old  Town Square, Prague -

    Signed on shop sign: T.S. Boys and inscribed lower centre: Prague

    Watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour and stopping out

    44.9 by 34.9 cm., 17 ? by 13 ? inches



    Anonymous sale, Sotheby?s 16th November 1989, lot 126;

    With Spinks, London, where bought by the present owner


    This is a view of the Old Town Square in Prague, with The Old Town Hall and its famous Astronomical Clock on the left.  The imposing Gothic Church of Our Lady before Tyn overlooks the square.  The church is still missing its northern spire which was burnt down in a fire in 1819.  A new spire was re-constructed during repairs to the church in the latter half of the 19th century.   The watercolour also shows the pillar of the Virgin Mary in the centre of the square.  The column was erected after the successful defence of the city against the Swedes in 1648 but was pulled down by the townspeople in 1918 who saw the pillar as a symbol of the ousted Habsburg regime.


    Boys first visited Prague in 1842 and he exhibited nine views of the city between 1843 and 1862. For another version of this view dated 1860, see James Roundell, Thomas Shotter Boys, 1974, pl. 98, p.202.

  • View in Venice -

    Signed lower right: T. Boys

    Watercolour heightened with bodycolour and stopping out

    25.8 by 19.3 cm., 10 by 7? inches


    This is a view looking from near the traghetto stop of Santa Maria del Giglio at the entrance to the Grand Canal looking east towards the Arsenale. Boys never visited Venice and this is based on a watercolour by his close friend Richard Parkes Bonington (1801-1828) of this view (see Patrick Noon, Richard Parkes Bonington ? the Complete Paintings, Yale 2008, no.252, p.317, ill.).


    Bonington and Boys were close friends until the tragic early death of the former in 1828. In May 1826 Bonington took a studio at 11 Rue des Martyrs in Paris, where he remained in February 1828, and Boys lived three streets away on Rue de la Rochefoucauld. In 1826, Bonington visited Venice with Baron Rivet and on his return we know that he invited Boys to his studio for dinner: ?Dear Boys,/Try and come this evening Rivet and a few friends will be here. . . . votre ami/Bonington? (letter in La Biblioth?que d?Art et d?Arch?ologie, Paris). A drawing by Boys in the British Museum dated 1827 (see Noon, op. cit., p.44, ill.) shows the interior of Bonington?s studio at this period with two views of Venice prominently visible.


    A cruder version of this view by Boys, dated 1829, was with Sotheby?s in March 2004 and the higher quality of the present watercolour suggests it dates from the early 1830s. It is tempting to think that it may be the watercolour entitled ?Vue de Venise? exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1833 as no.273.

  • Fort St Aubin, Jersey -

    Inscribed lower left: Fort at St Aubin and with Ingram collector's mark verso

    Watercolour over pencil

    12.7 by 34.9 cm., 5 by 13 ¾ in.



    With Agnew's, London;

    Ingram Family by 1974;

    Michael Ingram, his Executor's sale, Sotheby’s, 6th June 2007, lot 51;

    Private Collection, UK



    Alastair Smart, Thomas Shotter Boys, exhibition catalogue, 1974, p.43-4, no.51



    Winchester, Winchester College Exhibition, June 1963;

    Stroud, Stroud Festival Silver Jubilee Exhibition, 1971;

    London, Albany Gallery, November 1972;

    Nottingham University Art Gallery and Thos. Agnew & Sons, London, Thomas Shotter Boys - Centenary Exhibition, 1974, no.51


    The current drawing is a fine example of Boys’s late spontaneous style. It dates from the early to mid 1850s when he exhibited a number of Jersey views. All four of his exhibits at the Amateur Artist’s Gallery in 1854 were Jersey subjects.

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