With an estimate of only $137,000 - $196,000, Lowes Cato Dickinson's The Birdcage at Newmarket, painted c. 1885, is far from the most expensive work on offer at Christie's London's Sporting Art sale this Friday. From a sartorial historian's point of view, however, it might be the most precious. The monumental panorama, which measures 5 ft. x 9.5 ft., portrays the Rowley Mile Course at Newmarket following the 2,000 Guineas Stakes in 1885. The winner, Mr. Broderick Cloete's Paradox, with jockey Fred Archer up, can be seen in the center of the picture (detail above), while in the throng the keen observer can spot such luminaries of the turf as the Prince of Wales and the Earl of Rosebery, attired in the height of late-1800's equestrian chic. Ralph Lauren could base an entire collection on this one work of art -- and he probably has.
Gallery: Christie's Sporting Art Sale