British Portrait by Frank Owen Salisbury of Sidney Shephard Esq – 1940/41 – VERY IMPORTANT

British Portrait by Frank Owen Salisbury of Sidney Shephard Esq.

STUNNING….QUALITY……IMPORTANT  piece of British Art……….British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Huntsman by Frank Owen Salisbury (AKA The Painter Laureate) dated 1940/41 – IMPORTANT !!!

With the assistance of the College of Coat of Arms in London, we have now FINALLY  identified the Sitter !!!

He was SIDNEY SHEPHARD Esq………..A World War 1 Hero…..recipient of the Military Cross……….High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire (yes….he was the Sheriff of Nottingham !!)…..successful businessman…………..Member of Parliament……….and renowned Master of the South Notts. Hunt.


“SIDNEY Shephard came home to Nottingham from the Western Front with a serious wound and a medal to show for it.

He then attacked civilian life with the same passion and skill that had helped to defeat the German Army during the First World War.

And during the course of a remarkable career he became the head of an internationally successful business, a member of Parliament and a leading light of the county set.

Shephard was born in 1894, the son of a draughtsman, but it was his mother who laid the foundations for his success.

She ran a small firm making children’s frocks which would be turned into a worldwide enterprise by her son.

But Sidney Shephard had another task to deal with first… helping to win the First World War.

He joined the 7th Battalion of the Notts and Derbys Regiment – the famed Robin Hoods – and he was there at Bullecourt in March 1918 when the Foresters were cut down in their hundreds, more than 650 men killed, wounded or missing in a battle remembered as the “blood tub”.

As the slaughter of 1918 continued, Shephard was drafted into the 1st Battalion.

On the night of June 23-24 he led a night patrol of 32 men into no man’s land where they clashed with a strong German force.

Although wounded in the head Lieutenant Shephard successfully withdrew his entire party, including nine injured men, over a distance of 450 yards. He was later awarded the Military Cross.

After the war he moved to 10 Barrack Lane, The Park, and in 1921 he took over his mother’s business and began to build and expand what she had started.

In 1925, by then married to Lily Jane Alexander, he formed a small company called Bairns-Wear Knitting Co Ltd with a capital of £500.

He became chairman and managing director, with fellow directors Bernard Brewer and Mrs E M Woodward, and the company quickly laid the foundations for growth.

A factory in Perry Road, Sherwood, made garments of pure wool for the home and export market, along with children’s garments made from nylon and rayon.

There was also a mill at Worksop.

At Hucknall Road, Sherwood, the company processed hand knitting wools, cut rug wool and designed all their own knitting leaflets, selling copies by the million.

A factory was also opened in Northern Ireland.

Mr Shephard also became a significant figure among the county set. He was Master of the South Notts Hunt, played golf off a handicap of four, and in 1941, he was appointed High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.

During the Second World War, he was an Army Welfare Officer and also commanded the Newark Home Guard Battalion between 1940 and 1943.

He became MP for Newark in 1943, holding the seat until Labour candidate George Deer ousted him in 1950.

At that time, he made an election speech in which he said: “I was never particularly clever. Like my brothers and sisters I went to an elementary school, and although I succeeded in winning a scholarship to a secondary school I cannot remember ever winning a prize or gaining distinction in the education field.”

Bygones reader Mary Peatfield, 94, remembers Sidney Shephard from the time he lived at Elston Hall which he rented from Mrs Vivien Kindersley (nee Darwin).

“During this time I got to know the family well. Sidney became churchwarden and was very active in all Elston affairs,” she said.

“Sidney Shephard died very suddenly, aged 59, in 1953. He is buried in Elston churchyard.”

According to Mary Peatfield, Shephard’s widow moved to Bingham and later to Norfolk.

He also left three children, Michael, Colin and Carolyn, but she adds: “I have lost touch with them all now.”

This is a large and impressive original portrait by possibly the most famous and recognized portrait Artist of the 20th Century…….Francis (Frank) Owen Salisbury.

Known as the British Painter Laureate due to his many portraits of the British Royal Family, but also famous for his portraits of Sir Winston Churchill (he did more portraits of Churchill than any other Artist), and his portraits of American Presidents, FDR, Eisenhower and Harry Truman.

His portraits adorn some of the most affluent and influential houses in the UK and the US……including the White House !!!

British Portrait by Frank Owen Salisbury of Sidney Shepherd Esq.


This is a large portrait of Sidney Shephard Esq. in his Hunting attire……complete with his bridle, crop and stirrup cup sticking out of his jacket……he is reclining on a hunt table.

Mr. Salisbury had a recognizable ‘trait’ in his portraits……….. namely, painting the Sitter’s Family Crest or Coat of Arms also on the painting.

It was this Coat of Arms that helped us to identify Mr. Sidney Shephard Esq., by engaging the College of Coats of Arms in London to identify the family name. Not only were the College of Arms able to identify the family name….but they were able to identify the Sitter as none other than Sidney Shephard Esq.


“Dear Mr O’Shaughnessy,

Thank you for your last email and for your payment.

I have now had an opportunity to examine the records of the College of Arms and may report back to you as follows.

The arms and crest shown in the portrait were granted on 26th June 1940 to Sidney Shephard of Elston Hall, co. Nottinghamshire and of Inchnadamph Lodge, co. Sutherland (Coll. Arms Grants 106.150). He was awarded the Military Cross, was sometime Lieutenant (The Sherwood Foresters) and High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire.

The arms may be blazoned as Per chevron Or and Azure in chief a Fleur-de-Lys between two Battle Axes erect the heads outwards Azure and in base a Fleece Or armed and unguled Gules and the crest as On a Wreath Or and Azure Upon a Wool-pack Or corded Azure a Cock Or armed combed and wattled Gules holding in the beak a Sprig of Oak fructed proper.

The motto NEC TIMEO NEC SPERNO (I neither fear nor despise) was also recorded.

Yours sincerely,

John Petrie, MSc

Rouge Croix Pursuivant

College of Arms

130 Queen Victoria Street

London EC4V 4BT

T 020 7248 2762″

We understand that the University of Manchester also retain all of Mr. Salisbury’s records.

The painting is signed by the artist on he bottom left and is definitely a genuine and original Salisbury painting……it is dated 1940/1 (we believe it was therefore started by Mr. Salisbury in 1940 and finished in 1941).

We have been intrigued for some time about the dates of this painting.
1940-41 was in the middle of the ‘Battle of Britain’, why would someone be painted in their fox hunting uniform when Britain was enduring it’s ‘Darkest Hour’???? Before we discovered the identity of Sidney Shephard this ‘perplexed’ us…so much so, that at one stage we thought that the sitter might have been Irish (who were neutral during WW2).
After much thought on the matter, we think we have stumbled upon the truth surrounding this portrait.
As we know, Salisbury was a VERY exclusive portrait artist. He mainly painted Royalty and Leadership figures….so why did he do a portrait of Sidney Shephard in his fox hunting uniform in 1940/41? We FIRMLY BELIEVE that this was painted as a propaganda piece….an ORIGINAL ‘KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON’, if you please!!

Shephard was a renowned WW1 Hero, a Military Cross Recipient, a well known English figure …. what better way to depict British resilience during their Darkest Hour but to have one of their heroes carrying on his pastime of foxhunting regardless of the Nazi Blitz!!!

Keep Calm and Carry On is a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. The poster was intended to raise the morale of the British public, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities.[1][2] Although 2.45 million copies were printed, and although the Blitz did in fact take place, the poster was hardly ever publicly displayed and was little known until a copy was rediscovered in 2000 at Barter Books, a bookshop in Alnwick. It has since been re-issued by a number of private companies, and has been used as the decorative theme for a range of products.

Evocative of the Victorian belief in British stoicism – the “stiff upper lip”, self-discipline, fortitude, and remaining calm in adversity – the poster has become recognised around the world.[4] It was thought that only two original copies survived until a collection of approximately 15 was brought in to the Antiques Roadshow in 2012 by the daughter of an ex-Royal Observer Corps member.

It is an oil on canvas and in its original frame.

It is in SUPERB CONDITION…..even though it did not really need it ……… we have had it professionally cleaned.

The QUALITY of this Portrait is SIMPLY OUTSTANDING…………….it is like looking at a photograph !

In our opinion, it is one of the finest portraits that Salisbury EVER PAINTED !!

The rear of the frame has a sticker for an international moving company based in London and they were probably the one’s who shipped it to the US circa 1950. We have contacted that Company but they do not retain the records.

It is possible that one of Sidney Shephard’s 3 children…..Michael, Colin or Carolyn emigrated to the USA in the mid-20th Century but we do not think so.  It is also very possible (and our humble opinion) that this painting was commissioned by the British Government … painting a British Hero of the day …. painted by the pre-eminent British portait artist of the day and sent to the USA at the beginning of WW2 (on tour) for the purpose of selling War Bonds ! When it had fulfilled it’s purpose it disappeared onto the private market here in the US and re-appeared at a country house auction in Dallas Texas some 75 years later !!!!! Where found by ‘yours truly’ !

Francis (“Frank”) Owen Salisbury (18 December 1874 – 31 August 1962) was an English artist who specialised in portraits, large canvases of historical and ceremonial events, stained glass and book illustration. In his heyday he made a fortune on both sides of the Atlantic and was known as “Britain’s Painter Laureate”. His art was steadfastly conservative and he was a vitriolic critic of Modern Art – particularly of his contemporaries Picasso, Chagall and Mondrian. His father, Henry Salisbury, described himself as a “plumber, decorator and ironmonger” (his mother was Susan Hawes),[1] yet his son Frank would become one of the greatest society artists of his generation.

It is for portraiture that he is best known. His speed in producing portraits stemmed from his painting his own twin daughters every morning for an hour and his career began with child portraiture and his painting the Hertfordshire gentry and members of the Harpenden Methodist Church. He had a studio at his home, Sarum Chase.[2] A providential meeting with Lord Wakefield, founder of Castrol Oils and a Methodist philanthropist, saw his introduction to society portraiture. Salisbury’s being selected to paint the Boy Cornwell in the Battle of Jutland then brought him to the notice of Royalty. Lord Wakefield then arranged for him to paint President Woodrow Wilson whilst he was in London, but Wilson departed for Paris and the opportunity was lost. It was to be John W. Davis, American Ambassador to London, who encouraged Salisbury to go to the USA; Davis had met Salisbury at art receptions and had admired his child portraits.

Twenty-five members of the Royal House of Windsor sat for Salisbury and he was the first artist to paint HM Queen Elizabeth II. He painted Winston Churchill on more occasions than any other artist; the two iconic images of Churchill – The Siren Suit and Blood, Sweat and Tears are both Salisbury images. Mayoral regalia was a ready made requisite for the Salisbury style with Councillor Sam Ryder (of Ryder Cup fame) as Mayor of St Albans being the most famous of his civic images.

Other significant portraits include those of Richard Burton, Andrew Carnegie (posthumous), Sir Alan Cobham, Sir Robert Ludwig Mond, Maria Montessori, Montgomery of Alamein, Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Benito Mussolini, John Player, Lord Rank, Jan-Christiaan Smuts and Sir Henry Wood.

Salisbury was remarkably successful in the USA where he was deemed to have fulfilled the American Dream. He made thirteen visits, basing himself in Washington DC, Chicago and New York where his portraiture would be a roll call of American wealth. He painted six Presidents with his Franklin D. Roosevelt remaining as the official White House portrait to this day. Industrial and financial giants who sat for him included Henry Clay Folger, Elbert Henry Gary, Edward Stephen Harkness, Will Keith Kellogg, Andrew William Mellon, John Pierpont Morgan, George Mortimer Pullman, John Davison Rockefeller Jr., and Myron C. Taylor.

Salisbury produced several self-portraits including depicting himself whilst painting the 1937 Coronation and his being Master Glazier in 1934.



We have priced this portrait on what we believe it is worth today, as a GENUINE and ORIGINAL Salisbury Portrait of large proportions.

Now that we have identified the Sitter as Mr. Sidney Shephard Esq……….an important Member of British Society in the mid-20th Century…………we are of the opinion that this significantly adds to the DESIRABILITY and VALUE of the painting. Also, the permutations of it being a very early and important symbol of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On” substantially elevate it’s importance.

This is a SERIOUSLY IMPORTANT piece of Art !!!

British Portrait  by Frank Owen Salisbury of Sidney Shephard.

FOX HUNTING: Fox hunting is an activity involving the tracking, chase, and sometimes killing of a fox, traditionally a red fox, by trained foxhounds or other scent hounds, and a group of unarmed followers led by a “master of foxhounds” (“master of hounds”), who follow the hounds on foot or on horseback.[1]

Fox hunting originated in the 16th century, in the form which was practised legally until 2005 in Great Britain, but it also takes place all over the world, including in Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Italy, and the United States.[2][3] In Australia, the term also refers to the hunting of foxes with firearms, similar to deer hunting or spotlighting. In much of the world, hunting in general is understood to relate to any game animals or weapons (e.g., deer hunting with bow and arrow); in Britain and Ireland, “hunting” without qualification implies fox hunting (or other forms of hunting with hounds—beagling, drag hunting, hunting the clean boot, mink hunting, or stag hunting), as described here.

The sport is controversial, particularly in the UK, where its traditional form was banned in Scotland in 2002, and in England and Wales in November 2004 (law enforced from February 2005),[4] although certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law, and shooting foxes as vermin also remains lawful.

Proponents of fox hunting view it as an important part of rural culture, and useful for reasons of conservation and pest control,[5][6][7] while opponents argue that it is cruel and unnecessary.
Mounted hunt followers typically wear traditional hunting attire. A prominent feature of hunts operating during the formal hunt season (usually November to March in the northern hemisphere) is hunt members wearing ‘colors’. This attire usually consists of the traditional red coats worn by huntsmen, masters, former masters, whippers-in (regardless of sex), other hunt staff members and male members who have been invited by masters to wear colors and hunt buttons as a mark of appreciation for their involvement in the organization and running of the hunt.

Since the Hunting Act in England and Wales, only Masters and Hunt Servants tend to wear red coats or the hunt livery whilst out hunting. Gentleman subscribers tend to wear black coats, with or without hunt buttons. In some countries, ladies generally wear colored collars on their black or navy coats. These help them stand out from the rest of the field.

The traditional red coats are often misleadingly called “pinks”. Various theories about the derivation of this term have been given, ranging from the color of a weathered scarlet coat to the name of a purportedly famous tailor.

Some hunts, including most harrier and beagle packs, wear green rather than red jackets, and some hunts wear other colors such as mustard. The color of breeches vary from hunt to hunt and are generally of one color, though two or three colors throughout the year may be permitted.[86] Boots are generally English dress boots (no laces). For the men they are black with brown leather tops (called tan tops), and for the ladies, black with a patent black leather top of similar proportion to the men.[86] Additionally, the number of buttons is significant. The Master wears a scarlet coat with four brass buttons while the huntsman and other professional staff wear five. Amateur whippers-in also wear four buttons.

Another differentiation in dress between the amateur and professional staff is found in the ribbons at the back of the hunt cap. The professional staff wear their hat ribbons down, while amateur staff and members of the field wear their ribbons up.

Those members not entitled to wear colors, dress in a black hunt coat and unadorned black buttons for both men and ladies, generally with pale breeches. Boots are all English dress boots and have no other distinctive look.Some hunts also further restrict the wear of formal attire to weekends and holidays and wear ratcatcher (tweed jacket and tan breeches), at all other times.

Other members of the mounted field follow strict rules of clothing etiquette. For example, for some hunts, those under eighteen (or sixteen in some cases) will wear ratcatcher all season. Those over eighteen (or in the case of some hunts, all followers regardless of age) will wear ratcatcher during autumn hunting from late August until the Opening Meet, normally around November 1. From the Opening Meet they will switch to formal hunting attire where entitled members will wear scarlet and the rest black or navy. The highest honor is to be awarded the hunt button by the Hunt Master. This sometimes means one can then wear scarlet if male, or the hunt collar if female (color varies from hunt to hunt) and buttons with the hunt crest on them. For non-mounted packs or non-mounted members where formal hunt uniform is not worn, the buttons are sometimes worn on a waistcoat. All members of the mounted field should carry a hunting whip (it should not be called a crop). These have a horn handle at the top and a long leather lash (2-3 yards) ending in a piece of colored cord. Generally all hunting whips are brown, except those of Hunt Servants, whose whips are white.


South Notts. Hunt:


British Portrait by Frank Owen Salisbury of Sidney Shephard Esq.

Provenance: Bought by us at Auction in Texas.

Dimensions: 5′ x 4′

Condition: Museum Quality


(NOTE/UPDATE: On a very happy note, we are pleased to announce that this portrait has made it’s way back to Sidney’s Family in the UK … a VERY HAPPY AND FITTING ENDING !)

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

British Oil on Canvas Portrait of a Fox Hunstman by Frank Owen Salisbury

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