About antique prints of Horses
The horse is a genus of ungulate mammals belonging to the family of Equidae, and was first domesticated in the East in prehistoric times. Of all the quadruped animals the horse seems the most beautiful. Horses were bread for different purposes. They were used for transport of people and carriages, in agriculture, hunting, and in warfare. The Mogul Empire was increased by the use of their excellent horse riding capabilities. The original Arabian horses are used for racing. Horses vary in size, from small, such as the Shetland Pony to large, such as the English Cart horse, or Draught Stallion.
In the 1870’s W J Miles, produced the definitive guide to the veterinary care of horses, The Modern Practical Farriery, published by William Mackenzie. At the time this was one of the most well known and highly regarded authorities on the veterinary and day-to-day care of the horse, which, before the age of cars, was immensely important. Many editions were issued as single and separate volumes. The work remained in print for many years. This comprehensive volume included a number of beautiful illustrations by Benjamin Herring, specialist in sporting paintings, including the chromolithographs above of the Hunter Glengarry; The Roadster; Clydesdale Stallion, and a Group of Ponies.
‘Down the Road or Reminiscences of a Gentleman Coachman’ by C.T.S. Birch Reynarson included illustrations by the English painter and engraver, Henry Thomas Alken, chiefly known as a caricaturist and illustrator of sporting subjects and coaching scenes. Fine examples of of these illustrations include the above Bicknell’s Spicy Team of Greys;A Cheery look out; and A Stiffish Pitch.
Other notable caricaturists who illustrated horses include George Cruickshank. Cruickshank gained notoriety with his political prints that attacked the royal family and leading politicians, however, he is perhaps most well recognised for his illustrations in Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. The Coach Without Horses above is a fine example of his work.