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Lord William sulky trotter aquatint c1845
Lord William sulky trotter aquatint c1845


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“Lord William. The Property of Samuel Lawrence, Esq'r.” original colored aquatint published in 1845. William Joseph Shayer (1811-1892) was an English artist who specialized in coaching and hunting scenes. His works were popular with printmakers who sought to capitalize on the insatiable public demand for sporting images. Hundreds of different prints after Shayer's works were produced in London and beyond during the 19th century. The “Lord William” aquatint was engraved by James R. Mackrell (ca. 1814-1866) and published in 1845. An aquatint is a type of etching invented in France in the 1760s. Its characteristic feature is to give the appearance of watercolor washes. A copper or zinc plate was coated in powdered rosin and progressively etched and bathed in acid to create the desired lines and tonal variations. The distinctive “watery” look of the aquatint remained popular even after the ascent of lithograph prints in the mid 19th century. Harness racing, in which horses race at a specified gait pulling a wheeled cart called a sulky, had originated in North American in the late 17th century and the first recorded harness races in Britain were held in 1750. By the mid-19th century, it was a favored form of sport and gambling among gentlemen of means. Although races are now held at formal tracks, at the time they were usually staged as single matches between two gentlemen and their steeds over a proscribed road and/or distance. The famed Brighton Road (the modern day A23) was 51 ˝ miles Westminster Bridge to the seaside aquarium in Brighton, then a fashionable resort. Horses bred for trotting were known as “Standardbreds” because they had to be able to trot a “standard” mile in less than two and a half minutes. In his race from London to Brighton, the trotter Lord William traveled at a clip of 13.4 miles per hour, an impressive pace given the total distance. This item is on display in our gallery at BRANFORD ANTIQUES & HOME DESIGN 824 EAST MAIN ST.BRANFORD, CT O6405 open 7 days. Formerly Clocktower Antiques. For hours of operation and directions go to

Item 9871:    $750

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