Historic St Leger paintings set to fetch £1,500 at finishing post

Two 180-year-old colour prints of the St Leger at Doncaster could sell for a total of �1,500 at auction next week.
Two 180-year-old colour prints of the St Leger at Doncaster could sell for a total of �1,500 at auction next week.
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TWO 180-year-old colour prints of the St Leger at Doncaster could sell for a total of £1,500 at auction next week.

The 16 by 20 inch prints were produced in the early 1830s and are entitled ‘Doncaster Races - The Horses Starting For The Great St Leger Stakes’ and ‘Doncaster Races - The Horses Passing The Judges’ Stand’.

They are among around 200 equestrian and British sporting prints put up for sale by wealthy Chicago banker and financial consultant Norman R Bobins and which could sell for more than a quarter of a million pounds at the two hour sale.

Both are hand-finished aquatints, a method of etching on copper with the use of resin and nitric acid, and are copies of pictures by James Pollard, a London coaching and sporting artist who collaborated with the illustrious 19th century artist John Frederick Herring senior.

Herring started his painting career in Doncaster and went on to become the foremost equestrian artist of his day, producing paintings of 33 St Leger winners.

For one of his pictures, ‘The Doncaster Great St Leger 1839’, Herring painted the racehorses and jockeys while Pollard completed the intricate background of grandstand architecture and crowds.

The Doncaster pictures show top-hatted toffs standing on their horse-drawn coaches drawn up alongside the course for a better view of the race.

Both prints will be auctioned at Dreweatts at Donnington Priory, Berkshire, next Wednesday.

The St Leger was first run in Doncaster in 1776 and moved to its present day home of Town Moor from Cantley Common in 1779.

The race is named after Lt Col Anthony St Leger, an Irish gentleman soldier and governor of St Lucia.