Please note: Somerset & Wood will be closed for holidays from Monday 25 December 2017 to Wednesday 3 January 2018, which may result in delays in responding to customer queries. Any orders placed during the holiday period will be shipped on our return on 4 January 2018.
Thank you for your understanding & wishing all our customers a very merry festive period!
We can finally reveal what has to be our best-kept secret of 2017!
Earlier this year, we were stunned and delighted to discover an extremely rare, Aboriginal drawing, ‘Toulgra’ by Nicolas Martin Petit. It sold today for £162,500 including auction house premium at Christie’s.
The drawing has clearly been on a remarkable journey - as have we! We were amazed to discover its identity. We could see the quality of its draughtsmanship immediately, but it was only on contacting the Australian Department at Christie’s that we realised its true importance and value.
Dating from around 1800, the drawing depicts the young Aboriginal resistance leader Toulgra, nicknamed 'Bull Dog', who went on to become the first Aboriginal convict – interned at Norfolk Island, one of the colony’s harshest penal settlements.
Why the drawing should surface unexpectedly in England, over two centuries after its creation, is in part explained by it being the work of the French artist Nicolas-Martin Petit, one of two draughtsmen on an exploratory voyage to Australia sponsored by Napoleon. Petit’s drawings, which have a directness and sensitivity unlike any previous images of Aboriginal people, were reproduced in a published account of the expedition, and are now in the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle in Le Havre. However, it is a mystery why this drawing, hitherto unknown, became separated and found its way to the West of England.
The drawing sold today in Christie's Topographical Pictures sale - an annual sale which features works by Western artists active in the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australasia during the great ages of exploration, trade and empire.
For Somerset & Wood this sale is fortune-changing. It means we’ll be able to keep growing our exclusive online business, bringing you more original art that’s affordable for all. The Petit drawing might mark a new departure for the business in terms of value, but our ethos remains: to make original art accessible to all, particularly those who may be intimidated by more traditional galleries, while not compromising on quality and depth of research.
So many artworks have a fascinating and often unexpected story to tell. We feel privileged that we have been able to become part of that story for this important drawing.
Above: Christie's director Nick Lambourn | Photo: Liliana Zaharia
Please note that over the busy Christmas period the post may take a little longer than usual. For our free shipping by standard service, we recommend the following final purchase dates to ensure your order is delivered before Christmas:
Thursday 30 November Africa, Middle East
Tuesday 5 December Asia, Caribbean, Central and South America, Cyprus, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia)
Thursday 7 December Australia, Greece, New Zealand
Tuesday 12 December Canada, Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden, USA
Thursday 14 December Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Netherlands, Norway, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland
Tuesday 19 December UK
Should you wish your parcel to be sent by a faster, guaranteed service, we would be happy to do this - please contact us for a quote for any extra charge payable.
We are excited to have been nominated for the Bradford on Avon Business Awards in the Best Start-up category. If you like what we do, please show your support and vote for us!
To show our appreciation, confirm to us that you have voted and we will enter your name into a prize drawer with the opportunity to win a £100 voucher off any Somerset & Wood purchase!
Thank you and good luck! (Voting will close 10pm Sunday 1st October 2017)
Improvements to our website mean that we can now accept credit card payments seamlessly at checkout. Be assured that our site is fully PCI Compliant.
Alternatively, you can still choose to checkout via PayPal if you prefer.
So many interesting pictures cross our path here at Somerset & Wood but sometimes the identification of their subject remains frustratingly elusive. We always welcome customer input and very much appreciate any insights you can share to help identify subjects - from churches, towns, towers and castles, to flowers, boats, trains and planes.
On our Unidentified Subjects page you will find a selection of just such pictures. Don your deerstalker hat and take a browse - we will constantly be adding new pictures so check back regularly.
If you recognise a subject, please drop us an email giving the picture's product code (e.g. JD-574) and identification of the specific subject. On verification you will receive a special discount code to enter on checkout to receive 10% off your next purchase!
Please note: Somerset & Wood will be closed for holidays from Monday 26 to Friday 30 December 2016, which may result in delays in responding to customer queries. Any orders placed during the holiday period will be shipped on our return on 2 January 2017.
Wishing all our customers a very merry Christmas!