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Portraits of the Winning Horses of the Great St. Leger Stakes, at Doncaster, from the year 1815 to the present year inclusive.

Stock Code 109890

London, S. & J. Fuller, [c. 1843].

Original price $74,418.00 - Original price $74,418.00
Original price $0.00
$74,418.00 - $74,418.00
Current price $74,418.00
With fabulous colour. A rare set of the finest early 19th-century series of racehorse portraits by John Herring, one of the greatest sporting artists of the day. Herring must have watched his first St Ledger in 1814 when he took the Royal Leeds Union stage from London to Doncaster in order to elope. While lodging in the town he took a coach builder's finishing shop and from that obtained the vacant post of coachman to the Nelson Inn. He followed this arduous profession for six years, ending up on the box of the prestigious High Flyer plying between York and London. In his leisure time he continued to paint, and in 1824 the Doncaster Gazette arranged for him to paint the winners of the St Leger retrospectively from 1815 onwards. The pictures were then engraved and published first by Messrs Sheardown & Son, owners of the Gazette, in 1824. This true first edition comprised just 10 plates, but it made Herring a household name. Eventually he left Doncaster for Newmarket in 1830, and then moved to London in 1834, in time becoming Britain's foremost exponent of horse painting of the day.

S. & J. Fuller of London purchased Shearman's plates in 1827, and continued to publish, periodically, the St. Leger Winner Series up to 1845, re-lettering the plates with their own imprint. The present copy was published in book form in 1843 with the plates of the two series, bearing the title from the Second Series, listing only the St Leger winners, although the work is composed of 29 St Leger winners and 17 Derby winners.

Large folio (58.8 x 42.8 cm); with Second Series letterpress title with engraved vignette, 1-leaf list of winners, 46 original hand-coloured aquatint horse portraits, comprising the complete series of 29 plates of the St Leger Winners and 17 of the Derby Stakes Winners, 1815-1843, plates 1-42 after Herring, plates 43, 45 and 46 after Harry Hall, plate 44 after Abraham Cooper, each with exceptional hand colouring and touches of gum arabic, on wove paper, plates 1-13, 15, 16, 19-21, 23, 31, 33 and 37-41, with Minerva head blind stamp, plates 14, 17, 25, 28 and 44 watermarked J. Whatman Turkey Mill with dates 1836-1839, all but two of the St Leger winners are proceeded by separate text pages giving the history and performances, plates 33, 34, 39, 42, 45 and 46 are inscribed as proof impressions within the text, published by Messrs Fuller, excepting Memnon published by W Sheardown & Son (Charles XII with a smudge under the horse's muzzle, some text and plates 2, 8, 16, 24 and 37 with faint spotting and staining mainly confined to verso of plates. Contemporary purple half morocco over cloth-covered boards, gilt morocco lettering-piece on upper cover, light wear and rubbing to binding, the plates fine.

Bobins III, 1181; Mellon/Snelgrove Herring 2; Siltzer pp.145-147; Tooley 261.

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Portraits of the Winning Horses of the Great St. Leger Stakes, at Doncaster, from the year 1815 to the present year inclusive.

HERRING, John Frederick.

Stock code: 109890



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