A harness horse racing print, with fine hand coloring, after the painting by noted English artist WILLIAM J. SHAYER (1811-1892), engraved by James R. Markell (1814-1866), featuring a great horse in his day, Lord William. The horse is described in the title area as the property of Samuel Lawrence Esq. The subtitle continues: "This extraordinary animal trotted a match against time in harness, for wager of 200 sovereigns, aside from London to Brighton, in the unprecedented time of three hours 50 minutes October 14, 1842 driven by the owner." The unframed print is an aquatint measuring 21" by 27" inside the present mat. It could be a mid 19th century print, or, somewhat later, perhaps the 1920's to conceivably even as late as 1940 or so. There were re-strikes of the old mid 19th century prints and sometimes it can be difficult to discern whether a particular example is a re-strike or not. However this is NOT a late 20th century reproduction. Despite the lack of glass and other protection the print has survived fairly well, but it is not in mint condition. The hand coloring is rich, particularly the red of the wheel. There are condition issues: at left margin there is a 1" scratch into the paper. The mat is glued down on top of the print and I think it likely that the print is fully laid down (glued) on the board. There is a small abrasion in cloud near top (shows as white spot) and two slight round pressure dimples, one the diameter of a pencil eraser, are present in clouds above horse's back. They are most visible in raking light. There are some other minor flaws that accumulate with age---tiny almost invisible water drops or stains in the sky, some pressure marks in the paper at lower right. In summary: this is a decorative work offered at a decorative price. Hanging on the wall framed, at normal viewing distance most would not see or would overlook the flaws, or would forgive them, considering the age. The eye would be more attracted to the colors and old-time subject matter.
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