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Race horse portrait (one of a set of six)




John Bowles, printer (1701?-1779)
Probably Richard Parr, engraver (act. 1736-1751)


9-3/4 in x 10-1/2 (sight, 7-3/4 in x 8-1/2 in)


Ink and watercolor on laid paper

Credit Line

Historic Odessa Foundation, gift of H. Rodney Sharp

Accession Number



“R.Parr Sculp”; “Silverlocks, a Mare belonging to the Rt Honble the Earl of Godolphin”; “Printed for John Bowles at the Black Horse in Cornhill”.

Condition Notes

The print exhibits some overall darkening.  It appears to be in its original frame.


Ex coll. H. Rodney Sharp


This race horse portrait is one of a set of six etchings (acc. nos. 1959.3591-.3596), each dated 1739 and likely part of a larger body (perhaps 25) offered to the public.  Horse racing was immensely popular in England in the mid-18th century, so much so that Parliament enacted the Gaming Act of 1739 to try to restrain unbridled enthusiasm, but within five years the act was reversed.  Each of the six portraits shows a lean, muscular animal with clipped tail and carrying a rider, all set against an imagined background. The banners below the image detail the horse’s name, owner, purses, race locations, and other matters of public interest.

These horse prints represent the taste of H. Rodney Sharp, rather than that of anyone in 18th century Odessa or the environs.


Zimmerman, A Storied Past, 255-256.