announced the sale of The B.J. Eastwood Collection: Important Sporting and Irish Pictures, taking place live on 9 July 2021 at Christies London, during the marquee series of sales comprising Classic Week (18 June15 July). The B.J. Eastwood Collection sale, which comprises 30 lots, represents B.J. Eastwoods deep interest in equestrian painting and Irish Art. Works range from 19th century sporting pictures through to defining representations of Munnings oeuvre, to an extraordinary group of Yeats illustrating key periods of his work. Other leading examples of Irish Art are included in the sale, with works by Walter Frederick Osborne, Sir William Orpen, Roderic OConor, Paul Henry, Sir John Lavery, and Gerard Dillon.
Barney Eastwood, known to his friends and family as BJ, was born in Northern Ireland in 1932, and his dedication to sport began at an early age. Eastwood was a talented Gaelic football player and was a member of the Co. Tyrone team which won the All Ireland Minor Championship in 1948. Both horse and greyhound racing were also significant sporting passions throughout his lifetime, and together with his great friend and erstwhile business partner Alfie McLean, he had many successful runners over the years.
B.J. Eastwood started his collection in the mid 1970s, at a time when he was particularly drawn to collection and house sales. However, it was his abiding love of sport and his eye for quality and detail which translated into an intrigue and fascination specifically with Sporting and Irish artists. He followed the great sales of the 1970s and 1980s, and over time built an outstanding collection of the genres greatest examples. Often seeking advice from leading experts, he personally curated a remarkable series of pictures while building a considerable level of expertise on the artists and works himself. His love of horse racing led him to be drawn to both equestrian and racing works of art including the acquisition in the sale of Jim Joel's Collection (1984), (lot 30), (illustrated below left), John Frederick Herring, Sen. (1795-1865) Preparing for the Doncaster Gold Cup, 1825, (estimate £150,000-200,000).
Charles Cator, Deputy Chairman, Christies International comments, B.J. Eastwood was a very private man and the collection was intensely personal, acquired not for show or prestige but for the enjoyment of himself, his family and those close to him it was the least ostentatious way of collecting and it was from the heart. I would like to think that he would be both proud of his remarkable achievement in assembling all the superb works in this sale, and perhaps a little amused to see the dispersal of his collection take its richly deserved place in the rollcall of the great collection sales that once inspired him to start his own.
An exhibition and view of the sale will take place at Christies, King Street from 3 July - 9 July.