200 lot art auction to fund museum at Rugby School

Rugby School.
Rugby School.

Around 200 pieces of art and sculpture from Rugby School will be sold off later this year, with some of the funds helping pay for a museum on the invention of rugby.

Old Masters/New Scholars: Works of Art to Benefit Rugby School will be a stand-alone sale at Christie’s on December 4 with approximately 200 lots from the school’s collection.

Items include Old Masters and British drawings and watercolours, books and manuscripts, antiquities, sculpture and Chinese ceramics.

The auction is led by one of Lucas van Leyden’s very rare surviving drawings, A young man standing (estimate: in the region of £1.5 million), and the recently rediscovered Study for ‘Perseus and Andromeda’ by Sir Edward Poynter P.R.A. (estimate: £120,000-180,000).

Lucinda Holmes, chairman of the school’s Governing Body, said: “Rugby School has been generously endowed over its 451-year history, and is fortunate to have been given such an impressive collection of artworks, many of which have been held at the school for more than 100 years.

“The school’s Governing Body has recently had the collection assessed and in the light of this, and the advice received about the cost and expertise of preserving, insuring and storing the collection, has decided to sell those items that are not intrinsic to the history of the school.

“The decision to sell this part of the collection is aligned with the school’s commitment as a registered charity to use its resources to benefit current and future students.”

The Governing Body will use the proceeds from the sale to benefit the school’s current and future students, including a newly designated museum space on the school site for the remaining works including the important collection of memorabilia which relate to the invention of Rugby football.