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Creator:
Alken, Henry Thomas, 1784-1851, ill.
Title(s):

The night riders of Nacton : a series of four plates, beautifully coloured / from original drawings by Henry Alken ; shewing the rise, progress, and downfalling of "The first steeple chase on record" ; from an authentic account published in the "Sporting Review," No. 1, for January, 1839.

Additional Title(s):

First steeple chase on record

Published/Created:
[London] : Rudolph Ackermann, Eclipse Sporting Gallery and Sporting Review Office, no. 191, Regent Street, London, 1839.
Physical Description:
[2] p., [4] leaves of plates : ill. ; 49 x 62 cm.
Holdings:
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio B 2010 6 Copy 1
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open to Yale ID holders by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.


Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio B 2010 6 Copy 2
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Accessible by request in the Study Room [Request]
Note: The Study Room is open to Yale ID holders by appointment. Please visit the Study Room page on our website for more details.

Copyright Status:
Copyright Information
Classification:
Books
Notes:
Aquatint engravings by John Harris (1791?-1873).
The letterpress consists of Sidney Cooper's account of the steeple-chase, printed in two columns. The original story, "An inquiry into the origin of steeple-chases, with an authentic account of the earliest steeple-chase on record," was published in the January 1839 issue of The sporting review. The author describes the sporting event that took place in 1803 when some officers of a cavalry regiment quartered at Ipswich were battling boredom one evening. One suddenly proposed to race his gray horse four miles across country against any of his fellow officers who were willing; it was decided that they should wear nighshirts over their uniforms, "whereby we shall not only see each other better, but also ourselves remain unknown to vulgar eyes" (p. [2]).
Alken's four original watercolors reproduced in the present series are now in the collections of the Yale Center for British Art (Department of Prints and Drawings, B1995.23.6-9).
"First issue of pt. III contains a wrong shadow of the five-barred gate, and no extra strut in the shadow. In the later issues the shadow of the gate is altered. Third issue re-engraved as first."--Siltzer.
"Ackermann's sporting gallery, no. 1."--Head of cover title.
"Price £1, 16s. Whitehead and Co., printers, 76 Fleet Street, London."--Foot of cover title.
Pages [2]-[4] of the wrappers include Rudolph Ackermann's advertisements for his "Repository of Arts and Eclipse Sporting Gallery", watercolor supplies, and the "The grand national sporting gallery."
Selected exhibitions: "Paul Mellon's Legacy: A Passion for British Art" (Yale Center for British Art, 18 April-29 July, 2007).
Siltzer, F. The story of British sporting prints, p. 53-55, 63
British sporting and animal prints, 1658-1874, 70
BAC: British Art Center copy 1 is in original printed buff wrappers; unstitched. Includes the first issue of plate III , with the wrong shadow for the five-barred gate. Green cloth case bears the bookplate of Henry C. Taylor.
BAC: British Art Center copy 2 is in original printed buff wrappers; unstitched. Includes the first issue of plate III , with the wrong shadow for the five-barred gate. In a red cloth case.
Subject Terms:
Ackermann, Rudolph -- Publisher.
Horse racing -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Steeplechasing -- Great Britain -- History.
Steeplechasing -- Great Britain -- Pictorial works.
Taylor, Henry C. -- Bookplate.
Whitehead and Co. (London, England) -- Printer.
Form/Genre:
Aquatints.
Publishers' advertisements.
Aquatints -- Hand-colored -- 1839.
Contributors:
Cooper, Sidney. Inquiry into the origin of steeple-chases, with an authentic account of the earliest steeple-chase on record.
Harris, John, 1791?-1873, engraver.
Ackermann, Rudolph, 1764-1834, publisher.
Whitehead and Co. (London, England), printer.
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  • Plate I. Ipswich, the watering-place behind the barracks. Preparing to start. All sorts of odds. The grey for choice
  • Plate II. The large field near Biles's Corner. Whoop! and away! The Major in trouble. Subden's linen suffers.
  • Plate III. The last field near Nacton Heath. Accomplished smashers & a run upon the bank
  • Plate IV. Nacton Church, and village. The finish, a good five still alive, grand chorus, "The lads of the village!"

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