Fred Morgan was the eldest child of the artist John Morgan (1823-1885). He learnt his trade from his father, a member of the Royal Society of British Artists, and began to exhibit at the Royal Academy in the 1870s.
The present picture was one of his most popular compositions, so popular that he painted it three times. The prime version was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1909, no. 217, and was entitled Grandpapa's Birthday. It was sold at Christie's New York, 18 October 2000, lot 57 ($424,000). The second version was sold at Sothebys New York, on 26 May 1993, lot 63. The present version was sold in Morgan's studio sale at Christie's on 5 December 1927, lot 67.
We are grateful to Terry Parker for his help in the preparation of this catalogue entry.