Tally ho! Fine prints for sale

Sat, Oct 27, 2012, 01:00

LIKE MANY a mother before and since, Queen Victoria was not amused by her son’s passion for horse racing. When Albert Edward, Prince of Wales visited Punchestown, Co Kildare in 1868 she wrote to him: “I much regret that the occasion should be the races as it naturally strengthens the belief, already too prevalent, that your chief object is amusement.”

The future King Edward VII had, indeed, a reputation as a bon viveur of epic proportions. The occasion was the inaugural steeplechase of the Prince of Wales Plate and, as it was named in his honour, he could hardly not turn up. The attendance of the queen’s son and heir was recorded by the first-known photographs of the races at Punchestown and a painting of the event by Henry Barraud. Prints of the painting were very popular. A copy is to go under the hammer at Bonhams Sporting Sale, an auction of sports-related memorabilia, in Edinburgh on November 7th. The Royal Visit of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, to Punchestown Races, Co Kildare, 1868 published in Dublin, 1870 (engraving by TL Sangar), and measuring 53cm by 110cm, has an estimate of £1,400-£1,800 (€1,745-€2,240).

Meanwhile limited-edition prints of horseracing, by Irish artist Peter Curling, are being launched next Thursday (November 1st) at the Atrium Gallery, John’s Lane, Naas, Co Kildare. The unframed prints, made by Murray Imaging Studios, include An Easy Day (from an edition of 95) cost €240. – MP

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