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Sporting, Sportsman’s Dream, RM Alexander, Antique Print, 1884

$475

R.M. Alexander (act. 1884-1916) (after)
The Sportsman’s Dream
Messrs. Fores, London: January 1, 1884
Color process lithograph
16.5 x 12.75 inches,border
22 x 18 inches, overall

Portrait of a young sportsman dozing in front of a fireplace with his dogs, rifle leaning against the wall, dressed in a grey hunting suit with knee breeches and shoes with spats and holding his pipe, the smoke from which rises and fades into 14 smaller vignettes of various sporting activities. The smaller illustrations are lively and detailed scenes of a range of indoor and outdoor sports: trap shooting, coaching, sailing, steeplechase and horseracing, billiards, golf, fishing, stag and bird hunting, boxing, and card playing.

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Description

The publisher described the print in an advertisement in an 1893 edition of its quarterly sporting publication Fores’s Notes in which they recommended it as a companion piece to one of their collegiate sporting prints, specifically The Sporting Cantab [search our website for this print]:

Makes an admirable companion to either of the above [The Sporting Cantab or The Oxford Undergrad], and shows us a tired Sportsman sleeping in his easy-chair before a comfortable fire, and dreaming of the various Sports, which are cleverly depicted in the wreaths arising from his half-smoked pipe.

R.M. Alexander (sometimes referred to as Captain R.M. Alexander) was a British draftsman and printmaker active in the late 19th century who specialized in fishing and sporting scenes. He made at least two prints for the London publishers Messrs. Fores’s, The Sportsman’s Dream (1884) and The Golfer’s Dream. With Charles Whymper he co-illustrated the books Skating and Figure Skating for the Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes series, first published in 1892. Captain Alexander is listed as a Civil Service Examiner in “Art Subjects” in official British government publications in 1908 and 1916.

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: Copyright Registered. London Published January 1st 1884 by Messrs. Fores, 41 Piccadilly.

References:

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 1, p. 94.

Fores’s Notes: A Quarterly Magazine Descriptive of British, Indian, Colonial and Foreign Sport. Vol. 10. London: Messrs. Fores’s, 1893. p. 8. Online at Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=YUkFAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA312 (3 March 2015).

Great Britian Civil Service Commission. Report of Her Majesty’s Civil Service Commissioners. Vol. 53. London: His Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1909. p. xiii. Online at Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=mjRAAQAAMAAJ&pg=PR13 (4 March 2015).

“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).

Additional information

Century

19th Century