Lot 56
  • 56

John Frederick Herring Sr.

60,000 - 80,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • John Frederick Herring Sr.
  • Mr O’Brien’s dark bay racehorse Jonathan Wild with jockey T. Ryder up
  • signed J.F.Herring Senrdated 1846, and inscribed Jonathan Wild. (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Private Collection, United Kingdom

Catalogue Note

Jonathan Wild, by Stockport out of Whisker, was foaled in 1843, owned by Mr. O’Brien, and ridden by T. Ryder, whose colors were white with a green cap.  The stock from Jonathan Wild’s dam were all named after notorious criminals, and the thief Jonathan Wild (1682-1725) inspired both the character of Peachum in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728) as well as Mr. O’Brien’s horse.  On July 28, 1846 at Goodwood, the aptly named Jonathan Wild, starting at 10 to 1 odds, thrillingly stole a victory from The Hero, who went on to win the next two Ascot Gold Cups.  The present work, set in a verdant field with jockey up, was also engraved by C. Hunt and likely commemorates this most prestigious win for Jonathan Wild, whose name would later be changed to The Highwayman.

John Frederick Herring Sr. sketched animals since childhood, but his artistic career began as a painter of signs and coaches.  In his spare time, he painted portraits of horses to decorate inn parlors, and his talent was eventually recognized by wealthy patrons who commissioned him to paint their hunters and racehorses.