Norfolk artist’s work could sell for £175,000

John Emms painting 'Hounds and a Terrier in a Kennel' will go under the hammer in New York in Februa

John Emms painting 'Hounds and a Terrier in a Kennel' will go under the hammer in New York in February. - Credit: Archant

An oil painting by 19th-century Norfolk artist John Emms is expected to sell for up to £175,000 when it is auctioned in America next month.

John Emms painting 'Hounds and a Terrier in a Kennel' will go under the hammer in New York in Februa

John Emms painting 'Hounds and a Terrier in a Kennel' will go under the hammer in New York in February. - Credit: Archant

The Blofield-born artist, who died in 1912, is renowned for his distinctive style of paintings of horses and dogs, in particular foxhounds and terriers.

The 3ft by 4ft work, entitled 'Hounds And A Terrier In A Kennel' will go under the hammer at Bonhams, in New York, on February 17, where it is expected to sell for between £100,000 and £175,000.

Emms, who originally worked as a Great Yarmouth teacher and lived at Victoria Road, in the town, was a prolific and successful artist in his day, known for his bohemian and extravagant lifestyle.

According to the Bonhams catalogue: 'Emms cut a flamboyant figure, always dressed in a long black cloak and matching wide-brimmed hat. He and his family led a somewhat bohemian life.

'When times were good, after selling a painting, he would take wife Fanny, their three daughters and son up to London to stay in the best hotels and lived life to the full.'

However, he suffered a stroke in the early 1900s which forced him to give up work.

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He took to heavy drinking and suffered such severe financial problems that some tradesmen were required to accept his pictures, in lieu of payment.

The family eventually became destitute and had to rely on a kindly landlady who accepted overdue rent.

Since his death, the value of his work has steadily soared. In 2006, at Bonhams in New York, his 1898 oil painting 'New Forest Foxhounds' sold for £588,737, a new world auction record for an Emms work.

Do you have a story about a Norfolk artwork? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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