Far more than a dog’s Life
By William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young and Mawer.
Cecil Aldin remains one of a select few household names in the world of hunting illustrators, which trip off the tongue and continue to excite private buyers, dealers and auctioneers alike.
As prolific as Snaffles and as knowledgeable on equine and canine subjects as Munnings, Aldin had animals in his blood, was close to them throughout his career and this rubbed off on the quality and amount of work he produced. He was Master of South Berkshire Fox Hounds during the Great War, was an Army Remount Officer and had a close working relationship with animals and those who loved them.
The talent is well seen due to the number of periodicals, books and adverts he contributed to. He produced varied works for Cadbury, illustrated in The Graphic in 1891 and produced works for books by Charles Dickens amongst many others.
It was his early education at Solihull Grammar School and Eastbourne College, coupled with his absolute love of the things he drew, which made him one of the natural artistic heavyweights both in his day and now.
The series Sleeping Partners led to the drawings shown here. This was a book produced to show some of his favourite pets often lying on settees and couches. Four of these signed engravings were recently offered at auction. The Dalmatian puppy made £380, the Irish wolfhound £600, Flop made just over £460, while Inseparable fetched £260.
These were part of a larger series which highlight the skill of the artist and the affection he had for his subjects, creating an almost humanlike appearance in the subjects, without ever becoming sentimental.
His final days were spent in the Balearic Islands and previous to this he ran his own pony and dog shows in Exmoor. Aldin remains as much a household name now as he was 100 years ago.