Rare complete set of four lithograph prints of polo players in the midst of intense competition, issued as Cuthbert Bradley’s Polo Incidents. The main action of each scene is described by their individual titles: Turn, Back-Hander, Ride Him Off and Gallop. Each is set on grassy polo turf with trees in the background and is rendered in a naturalistic style, with attention to accurate rendering of the horses’ anatomy and forms in motion. The prints were made after watercolors by the popular sporting artist Cuthbert Bradley. The set of four was advertised for sale by Fores in their quarterly publication Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches in 1902 (see References below).
Cuthbert Bradley was an English painter, sporting writer and magazine illustrator. He studied architecture at King’s College in London. After graduating, he wrote for The Field and illustrated for Vanity Fair and Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches. Some of his paintings and sketches of polo and fox hunting scenes were published as prints by Fores. He also made oil portraits of fox hunting dogs. His paintings are in the collections of the British National Trust and the Leicester County Council Museum.
Fores was an English print publisher and printseller founded in London in 1783 by Samuel William Fores (1761-1838) and continued by his heirs for 200 years. S.W. Fores specialized in caricature prints. After his death in 1838, his sons George Thomas Fores (1806-1858) and Arthur Blücher Fores (1814-1883) took over as Messrs. Fores Sporting and Fine Print Repository, changing the focus largely to horse sporting subjects including riding, hunting, racing, steeple chase, polo, and coaching. Messrs. Fores published works by the foremost British horse and equestrian artists of the day, including Alken, Pollard, Sartorius and J.F. Herring, Sr. They also published Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches, a quarterly magazine. Descendants of George Thomas Fores continued to run the company until well into the 20th century. The remaining stock of the firm was acquired in the early 21st century by Stephen Ling of Brackley, Northamptonshire.
Full publication information lower center margin: “Published Oct’br 23rd 1901 by Mess’rs Fores, 41 Piccadilly, London.”
Each titled in matrix lower left.
Upper margin of each titled: “Cuthbert Bradley’s Polo Incidents.”
Condition: Generally very good, recently professional cleaned and deacidified with only minor remaining toning and wear.
“Cuthbert Bradley.” Wikipedia. 10 July 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuthbert_Bradley (15 August 2014).
Fores’s Sporting Notes and Sketches, Vol. 19. London: Messrs. Fores, 1902. p. 328. https://books.google.com/books?id=tEQFAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA328 (24 December 2014).
“S.W. Fores (biographical details).” The British Museum. http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=124910 (15 October 2013).