We are all fans of Downton Abbey here at J.Pocker, but we were especially inspired by the classic horse race in last week's episode. It got us thinking about the sporting prints in our own collection. Robyn Pocker has been a longtime fan of the British racing world so we asked her to weigh in on some special framing tips.
A collector has to really appreciate the quality behind sporting images. Not everyone can own the originals but there are great alternatives available.
The best ones to look for are copperplate engravings made from the original copper plates. They are printed on lovely paper, each one done by hand, one at a time, printed in black and white then colored by a master colorist. When well done, you can clearly see the details of the horses’ eyes and the faces of the riders. Racing images have the most color. The silks worn by jockeys have a color range that is always dramatic.
The originals are often seen framed in traditional black Hogarth frames with gold detail. After that, there is a choice of walnut burl veneer or what we would call a traditional sporting frame, gold with a lambs tongue detail at the lip.
Sporting prints are always well done in a study and massed together they are so handsome. Endless topics are available including hunting, horse racing, coursing (rabbit hunting), hog hunting in India, and behind the scenes imagery of country life.
Here are a few of our favorite sporting prints: