Samuel Howitt, (1756-1822) "genius, artist, sportsman", concentrated his considerable artistic talents on picturing scenes of horse-racing and hunting in all its aspects. Born in Nottinghamshire, England, Howitt was largely self-taught , although influenced by his contemporaries, George Morland, Rowlandson and John Raphael Smith.
Howitt's watercolors of hunting, shooting and racing have delightful spontaneity. An enthusiastic sportsman himself, he had sufficient family money to paint at first only for his own and his friends' pleasure. However, this fortune was quickly dissipated and Howitt moved to London. He made a living partly by etching at which he was extremely skilled. As an artist he was prolific, more than 150 of his designs were published in The Sporting Magazine.
"The light touch of his pen, the delicacy of his brushwork and his experience of field sports ensured all that he drew was animated and accurate." (Charles Lane British Racing Prints pp.132-133).
In 1807 Howitt drew the original plates for a book of paintings published by Edward Orme, 'Orme's Collection of British Field Sports': "the finest and most important sporting book of the last two centuries" (Schwerdt).
First editions of these plates fetch upwards of $2000 per print in London. These prints are not firsts but they are antique. I purchased them as 19th century at auction in London in the late 1960s.
They are in remarkable condition, the colors are vibrant and the images clear. There is slight foxing to the lower edge in places but this is minimal and to be expected in antique prints.
They are framed in dark ebonized Victorian wood frames, measuring 21 inches by 16.5 inches.
There are repros of the Orme prints available on the internet. Do not confuse the two; These are genuine early editions. The age of these hand-colored aqua-tints is apparent from the paper they are printed on. This is a great opportunity to acquire 2 gorgeous English Georgian hunting prints for a very reasonable price.
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