A landscape sporting view of an English cricket match between teams from Sussex and Kent, at the green lawn cricket pitch at Brighton known as The Level. In the foreground is a gathering of spectators in formal dress, many in top hats and tails. St. Peter's Church is prominent in the background against a blue sky with puffy clouds. The view also serves as a portrait of some 72 of the persons shown, including many famous cricketers of the period. Players, umpires, and scorers, as well as patrons and other spectators, are portrayed in actual likeness.
The print is based on a painting by the portrait artists William Drummond and Charles J. Basebe that was exhibited in London in 1846 but has since disappeared. In 1849, the publishers E. Gambart, London and W. H. Mason, Brighton issued a black-and-white print of the painting, engraved by George Henry Phillips. Mason also issued a numbered identification key of the 72 portraits within the print. (The key may be found is in the UK Government Art Collection. A detail, copied from their web site, is shown above.) When Mason's print was first published, a newspaper described it as "characteristic portraits of the players engaged in the match" along with "noble and other gentlemen, patrons of the noble art of cricket […] all taken from life by Mr. W. Drummond and Mr. C.J. Basebe." The print offered here is a later Victorian color version published by the firm of Selig Lipschitz in London and Hamburg. The sky in Lipschitz's version is more dramatic than Mason's, and the engraving in Mason's is more subtly modeled.
William Drummond was an English portrait painter based in London, who painted prominent figures such as Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and novelist William Makepeace Thackeray. He also produced the portraits of women for Charles Theodosius Heath's Book of Beauty. Drummond exhibited at the Royal Academy, the British Institution and the Society of British Artists.
Charles Jones Basebe was an English miniature and portrait painter based in London. He painted a number of portraits of cricketers, several of which are now in the collection at Lord’s Cricket Ground. He also painted a portrait of Prince Albert. He exhibited at the Royal Academy and Society of British Artists between 1835 to 1879.
Selig Lipschitz (c.1831-1894) was a print publisher based in London and Hamburg, Germany. He is listed as a seat holder in an 1885 directory of congregants of the New Synagogue in London.
Full publication information: "Verlag v S. Lipschitz Ellernthorsbrucke 11 Hamburg. London published by S. Lipschitz 5 Commercial St & 84 Brushfield St Spitalfields."
Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with minor remaining toning, wear, handling. Some minor chipped losses in white margins restored as tipped in, some short marginal tears restored, all as professionally laid on archival tissue.
Maynard, Jeffrey. "Jewish Chronicle 1890-1895." Anglo-Jewish Miscellanies. 2015. http://www.jeffreymaynard.com/JC1890to5LR.htm (3 May 2016).
"New Synagogue Seatholders 1885." JCR-UK: Jewish Communities & Records. 2002-16. http://www.jewishgen.org/jcr-uk/london/new/New1885.pdf (3 May 2016).
"William Drummond. The Cricket Match between Sussex and Kent, at Brighton." Government Art Collection, Department for Culture, Media & Sport. http://www.gac.culture.gov.uk/work.aspx?obj=24787 (3 May 2016).