Frank Calcraft Turner (1772-1846)
Frank Calcraft Turner (1772-1846)

Squire Osbaldeston's celebrated trotter 'Tom Thumb' racing against time

Details
Frank Calcraft Turner (1772-1846)
Squire Osbaldeston's celebrated trotter 'Tom Thumb' racing against time
indistinctly signed, inscribed and dated 'Painted by FC Turner 1830' (lower right)
oil on canvas
18 ¾ x 26 in. (47.7 x 66 cm.)
Provenance
Mr England, the umpire who is timing the horse in the picture, and by descent to his grandson,
G. Yates; Christie's, London, 14 December 1928, lot 84 (200 gns to Ackermann).
with Arthur Ackermann & Sons, London.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 12 November 1997, lot 250, where acquired by the present owner.
Literature
The Field, 17 December 1925, illustrated.

Brought to you by

Brandon Lindberg
Brandon Lindberg

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Lot Essay

Trotting races developed as a popular betting event towards the end of the 18th century. Tom Thumb, was one of two trotters purchased by Squire Osbaldeston from an Englishman living in America as American bred trotters were thought to be superior. At this time, few horses could trot sixteen miles an hour in a harness, so Osbaldeston wagered a bet with his friend George Payne that Tom Thumb could trot at 16 miles an hour. A further bet was made on the same day that the same horse could trot 16 ½ miles within the hour. The match took place, before huge crowds, on the Cambridge to Royston Road on 30 August 1830 and Tom Thumb completed the distance with only eight minutes to spare, winning the Squire his bets worth about £2,500.
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