There are some wonderful paintings with equestrian themes coming up for auction at John Moran’s in Pasedena (but you don’t need to be there to bid) on April 17th.

From the California and American Fine Art Auction, here is an oil on masonite entitled Navajo Night Riders (30′ x20″), by Frank Tenney Johnson (1874-1939, Los Angeles, CA), with an estimate of $10,000 – $20,000:

Navajo Night Riders, Frank Tenney Johnson, Lot #1084

As a riding instructor, I’m in love with the oil on canvas by Emil J. Kosa Jr. (1903-1968) entitled Griffith Park in Los Angeles.  Although I didn’t grow up on the West Coast, I did ride in barns just like this on the East Coast, back in the day — the day when the automatic release was popular.  Oh, nostalgia!  The 22″ x 30″ painting has been signed and numbered on the stretchers.   The auction house estimates it will go for between $4,000 and $6,000.

Griffith Park in Los Angeles, Emil J. Kosa Jr., Lot # 1097

Maybe this is more your speed…Nicholas S. Firfires’ 24″ x 40″ oil on canvas entitled The Round-Up, signed and dated 1962.  If you bid and win it (the estimate is $2000 to $3000), you’ll also get the book Nicholas S. Firfires: Views from His Saddle, from the Santa Barbara Historical Museum in California.

The Round-Up, Nicholas S. Firfires, Lot #1183

The 9″ x 12″ work by Lloyd Harting entitled Stagecoach in the Snow is a watercolor heightened with white gouache on paperboard.  Although it’s described as in “generally good condition with some minor scattered spots of stain throughout,” it’s signed by the Orange County, CA artist (1901-1974) and the estimate is most affordable at $800-$1200.  It’s a wonderful image and you can feel the horses pulling the stagecoach when you look at it.

Stagecoach in the Snow, Lloyd Harting, Lot #1184

Another Santa Barbara artist — Edward Borein (1872-1945) is well represented, with four small and nicely framed works up for bidding — a watercolor and three etchings and drypoint on paper.   The wildest etching, without a doubt, has the equally wild title Robes & Meat.  It measures 6″ x 9.5″ and the estimate is $1000 to $2000.

Robes & Meat, Edward Borein, Lot #1187

You’ll want to look at the online catalog for full details.  There are also some wonderful landscapes.  Who knew Laguna Beach once looked the way it looks in some of these paintings?

Moran’s also has some great paintings featuring horses in the European & Modern Fine Art Auction also taking place on April 17th.

Do you think the set designer for Spielberg’s War Horse saw this painting before working on the film?

End of the Day, John Linnell, Lot #016

It’s a signed oil on panel laid to a modern panel, 18″ x 24″, with an estimate of $1500-$2000.  The painting shows some signs of age, but then, the British artist lived from 1792-1882.

If your taste runs more to the exotic, maybe you’ll flip for the works of Wladislaw Karol Szerner (1870-1936).  There are two oil paintings under the hammer, both featuring Cossacks and splendid coloration.  The estimates are quite reasonable — from $1000 to $1500 for Cossacks on a Lookout with Horses (Lot #018) and $2000 to $300 for The Charge, (20″ x 16″) pictured below:

The Charge, A Cossack on Horseback, Wladislaw Karol Szerner, Lot #017

Less reasonably priced, but no less exotic is Frederic Arthur Bridgman’s 1882 oil on canvas, the 34″ x 53.5″ Street Scene Algiers, with an estimate of $300,000 to $500,000.

Street Scene, Algiers, Frederic Arthur Bridgman, Lot #019

The auction also includes a Chagall, but alas, without his horses.  You can see everything and find out full details, including the condition, of every work here.  Some of the works have areas of touch up or restoration, and you’ll want to know that before you bid.  Which you can do by phone, absentee or online.  For more information, call Moran’s at 626-793-1833 or write