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Sporting Art, Horses, Racing, Chester Vase Race, John Beer, England, Watercolor, 1914


John Beer (1860-1930)
The Race for The Chester Vase — 1914
Watercolor and gouache on paper, mounted on card
Titled and dated by artist lower left, signed lower right
10 x 14 inches
12 x 16 inches overall including card mount

Watercolor painting of the race for the Chester Vase in 1914, showing the winning horse Dan Russel in the lead, with the other horses in their relative positions behind him; Colonel Bogay, White Magic, and Brand are shown in the second, third, and fourth positions. This painting follows Beer’s typical format for portrayals of specific races at various British racecourses showing the horses running towards the end of the race and hand-lettering their names and the race name beneath them. The painting is also similar to composition to other works by Beer in showing the grass turf with racing horses in the foreground and the stands filled with spectators and sky in the background.

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Since 1907, Chester Vase has been a horse race of over one mile at Chester Racecourse, Cheshire, Great Britain. It is open to three-year-old colts and geldings. It is classified as a Group 3 flat horse race (group races being the highest level of thoroughbred racing) and serves as a trial for The Epsom Derby.

John Beer was a British sporting artist, known for his horse racing scenes. Indeed, he is thought to have been among a number of artists hired in Edwardian England by racecourses to make renderings of race finishes. He worked in oil, watercolor, and gouache and documented races and other scenes at various venues including The Epsom Derby; Newmarket Racecourse, Suffolk (various events); Nottinghamshire Handicap at Colwick; and Victoria Cup, Hurst Park. His sporting art was also published as prints by Messrs. Fores and as illustration art in sporting periodicals.

Condition: Generally very good with only minor overall toning and wear. Mounted on card, likely as issued, with some glue remnants from former matting on the card, can be rematted out.


“Chester Vase.” Wikipedia. 10 May 2021. (26 May 2021).

Additional information


20th Century