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Sporting Art, Horses, Caricature, Sporting Scrap Books, Henry Alken, Antique Prints, 1832


Henry Alken (1785-1851) (drawn & engraved by)
Prints from Sporting Scrap Books
Thomas McLean, Haymarket, London: 1820s
Hand-colored aquatints
9.75 x 13 inches, sheet
$300 each

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Alken, a leading British sporting artist, published a number of “scrapbooks,” collections of prints depicting aristocrats on their weekend outings. The ones pictured are show the lighter side of hunting, riding and animal behavior. They are part of a larger movement of caricature prints affectionately lampooning British society that were published in England in the first half of the 19th Century, by artists such as Thomas Rowlandson.


Henry Thomas Alken was a painter and engraver, son of artist Samuel Alken. He worked in London and the provinces and was prolific in a variety of media, including painting, etching and watercolor. Trained as a miniature painter, his works always had a graphic precision. He is known for hunting, coaching, racing and other animal subjects. He was also employed by sporting periodicals as an illustrator and provided plates for the National Sports of Great Britain (London, 1821), “strengthening the market for his work in sporting circles, in particular the notorious clique of wealthy and reckless huntsmen who gathered at Melton Mowbray, Leicester.” (Grove Dictionary of Art).

Condition: Generally very good, the colors bright, the paper with the usual light overall toning, some minor scattered wear, soiling, soft creases.


“Henry Thomas Alken.” The Grove Dictionary of Art. New York: Macmillan. 2000. (10 May 2002).