Early 19C Aquatint Engraving of Grey Momus by John Frederick Herring Snr

Presenting a FABULOUS and VERY RARE, ORIGINAL Early-19th Century Chromolithograph Engraving after a painting by John Frederick Herring Snr, engraved by Charles Hunt circa 1839/40.

This original engraving is of “Grey Momus” …. shown with his rider/jockey…John Barham Day (who was also his trainer)

Grey Momus’s breeding is recorded on the print as being “Bred in 1835 by Sir Tatton Sykes , got by Comus, dam by Cervantes out of Emma by Don Cofsack- Vesper by Delpini – Faith by Pacolet – Atalanta by Matcham Lafs of the Mill by Oroonoko – Old Traveller (Sister to Clarks Lafs of the Mill, Mr. Holmes , Mifs Makalefs by Young Grey Hound – Old Partner etc etc”

The Owner of Grey Momus is recorded as ” The Property of Lord George Bentinck.”.

“To Whom this Print by permission is most respectfully dedicated by the Publishers…. S & J Fuller”.

“Painted by J. F. Herring “.

This Aquantint beautifully captures the Horse and Jockey that were victorious in the 1868 Ascot Gold Cup and 200 Guineas by  John Frederick Herring, Sr.., one of Great Britain’s most renown sporting artists who did commissioned work for the Duchess of Kent and Queen Victoria. Herring’s Original aquatint, hand-colored prints are EXTREMELY POPULAR and HIGHLY SOUGHT AFTER. The engraving is  presented under glass in its original oak frame with gilt fillets.

This ORIGINAL Chromolithograph or hand colored aquatint of Grey Momus is  by the VERY FAMOUS and HIGHLY DESIRABLE and SOUGHT AFTER British Artist John Frederick Herring Senior.


Early 19C Aquatint Engraving of Grey Momus by John Frederick Herring Snr.

John Frederick Herring Sr. (12 September 1795 – 23 September 1865),[1] also known as John Frederick Herring I, was a painter, sign maker and coachman in Victorian England.[2][3] He painted the 1848 “Pharoah’s Chariot Horses” (archaic spelling “Pharoah”). He amended his signature “SR” (senior) in 1836, with the growing fame of his teenage son (1 of 4) John Frederick Herring Jr.

Herring, born in London in 1795, was the son of a London merchant of Dutch parentage, who had been born overseas in America. The first eighteen years of Herring’s life were spent in London, where his greatest interests were drawing and horses.[2] In the year 1814, at the age of 18, he moved to Doncaster in the north of England, arriving in time to witness the Duke of Hamilton’s “William” win the St. Leger Stakes horserace. By 1815, Herring had married Ann Harris; his sons John Frederick Herring Jr., Charles Herring, and Benjamin Herring were all to become artists, while his two daughters, Ann and Emma, both married painters. When she was barely of age in 1845 Ann married Harrison Weir.

In Doncaster, England, Herring was employed as a painter of inn signs and coach insignia on the sides of coaches,[3] and his later contact with a firm owned by a Mr. Wood led to Herring’s subsequent employment as a night coach driver. Herring spent his spare time painting portraits of horses for inn parlors, and he became known as the “artist coachman” (at the time).[2] Herring’s talent was recognized by wealthy customers, and he began painting hunters and racehorses for the gentry.

In 1830, John Frederick Herring, Senior left Doncaster for Newmarket, England, where he spent three years before moving to London, England.[2] During this time, Herring might have received tuition from Abraham Cooper. In London, Herring experienced financial difficulties and was given financial assistance by W. T. Copeland, who commissioned many paintings, including some designs used for the Copeland Spode bone china. In 1840-1841, Herring visited Paris, painting several pictures, on the invitation of the Duc d’Orleans (the Duke of Orleans), son of the French King Louis-Phillipe.

In 1845, Herring was appointed Animal Painter to HRH the Duchess of Kent, followed by a subsequent commission from the ruling Queen Victoria, who remained a patron for the rest of his life.

In 1853, Herring moved to rural Kent in the southeast of England and stopped painting horse portraits.[3] He spent the last 12 years of his life at Meopham Park near Tonbridge, where he lived as a country squire. He then broadened his subject matter by painting agricultural scenes and narrative pictures, as well as his better known sporting works of hunting, racing and shooting.

A highly successful and prolific artist, Herring ranks along with Sir Edwin Landseer as one of the more eminent animal painters of mid-nineteenth (19th) century Europe.[2] The paintings of Herring were very popular, and many were engraved, including his 33 winners of the St. Leger and his 21 winners of the Derby. Herring exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1818–1865,[3] at the British Institution from 1830–1865,[2] and at the Society of British Artists in 1836-1852, where Herring became Vice-President in 1842.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Frederick_Herring_Sr.

Grey Momus (1835 – 1856) was a British Thoroughbred racehorse and sire. In a career that lasted from August 1837 to 1839 he competed twenty-one times and won fourteen races. Grey Momus first attracted attention as a two-year-old when he recorded two impressive victories at Goodwood in August. In the following year he won seven times from nine starts, taking two of the year’s biggest races, the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket and the Gold Cup at Ascot. Grey Momus won one competitive race and took three walkovers in 1839 before being retired. He was exported to stand as a stallion in Germany, where he had some success as a sire of winners.

Grey Momus was strongly-built, heavy-shouldered[1] grey horse, bred at Sledmere Stud in Yorkshire by Sir Tatton Sykes, 4th Baronet.[2] He was sired by Comus, who finished third in the 1812 Epsom Derby before becoming a successful sire of winners.[3] His dam, an unnamed mare by Cervantes, also produced a mare who became the ancestor of the Thoroughbred family known as 2-e, which produced such horses as Reigh Count, Candy Spots and Granville.[4]

Before he appeared on the racecourse, Grey Momus had been bought at Doncaster by John Bowes.[5] The colt was sent into training with John Barham Day at Danebury near Stockbridge in Hampshire. Day also rode the grey in most of his races.

1837: two-year-old season

Grey Momus raced six times as a two-year-old in 1837. He made his debut Goodwood in the four furlong Lavant Stakes on 2 August. Ridden by his trainer John Day, he started favourite at odds of 1/2 and won “without any difficulty”[6] by half a length from Kirtle, Anchorite and two others.[7] Two days later at the same course he carried top weight of 124 pounds to victory in the Molecomb Stakes at odds of 4/7.[8] His victories seemed to establish Grey Momus as the leading colt of his generation, and he was an early favourite for the following year’s Derby.[9]

After a break of two months, Grey Momus reappeared in the Hopeful Stakes at Newmarket on 3 October for which he started 4/7 favourite despite carrying top weight. He started badly and was left with a great deal of ground to make up before finishing strongly[10] to take second place behind the 15/1 outsider Saintfoin.[11] At the next Newmarket meeting two weeks later he finished unplaced behind Ion when favourite for the Clearwell Stakes.[12] At the Newmarket Houghton meeting on 30 October, Grey Momus was pitted against Colonel Peel’s four-year-old filly Vulture, over five furlongs in a match which was highly anticipated.[13] The match, which attracted keen betting interest, was made for £1000 with Grey Momus receiving 38 pounds from his older rival. At half way, Grey Momus seemed to be struggling, and looked likely to be easily beaten, but he stayed on strongly and was only half a length behind at the finish.[14] Two days later at the same meeting Grey Momus was moved up in distance for one mile sweepstakes in which he prevailed by a neck from Paganini after a “desperate race”.[15]

By the end of December, Grey Momus, after his mixed results at Newmarket, was third favourite for the Derby behind D’Egville and a son of Cobweb who was later named Phoenix.[16]

1838: three-year-old season

Grey Momus in his stable: contemporary engraving

Before the start of the 1838 season Grey Momus entered the ownership of Lord George Bentinck. The colt began his three-year-old season in the 2000 Guineas over the Rowley Mile course at Newmarket. Following the withdrawal of Phoenix, Grey Momus started at odds of 4/1 in a field of six runners. The grey colt was sent into the lead by John Day from the start and was never headed, winning easily[17] by a length won from Saintfoin, with the favourite, Bamboo in third place.[18] The supporters of the beaten favourite were dissatisfied by their horse’s defeat and as a result, Grey Momus and Bamboo ran a match race at level weights over the same course and distance three days later. Grey Momus increased his superiority over his rival to win a prize of 300 sovereigns very easily by two lengths after Bamboo had led for the first half of the race.[19]

At Epsom on 30 May he was made 5/2 favourite for the Derby in a field of twenty-three runners, with Bentinck “declaring to win” with Grey Momus in preference to his other runner D’Egville.[20] Grey Momus started well and disputed the lead with the previously unraced outsider Amato, before beginning to struggle in the straight. Although the grey colt “strained every nerve”,[21] he finished a well-beaten third behind Amato, with Ion taking second place.[22] Two weeks after his defeat in the Derby, Grey Momus was sent to Ascot where he ran against older horses in the Gold Cup over a distance of two and a half miles. He started favourite at odds of 4/5 and took the race from the four-year-olds Epirus and Caravan.[23] A year after his first appearance, Grey Momus returned to Goodwood on 31 July and won the Drawing Room Stakes from three opponents.[24] Two days later at the same course, he won the Racing Sweepstakes over one mile from a field which included the Epsom Oaks winner Industry.[25]

After a two-month break, Grey Momus returned to run at the autumn meetings at Newmarket. On the opening day of the First October meeting he contested the Grand Duke Michael Stakes over ten furlongs and won at odds of 1/4 from Dash, with the 1000 Guineas winner Barcarolle in third.[26] On the following day, Grey Momus was opposed by only one horse, a colt named Quo Minus in the Newmarket St. Leger and won at odds of 1/15.[27] On his final start of the year, Grey Momus ran a £500 match at Newmarket’s Houghton meeting on 2 November, and was beaten over two miles by Caravan.[28] This defeat confirmed the belief of some observers that the successes of Grey Momus in 1838 owed more to his connections clever selection of targets rather than any exceptional ability.[29] Others, however, felt that Grey Momus had been unsuited by the very soft ground and had not given his true running.[30]

1839: four-year-old season

Grey Momus began his four-year-old campaign in the Port Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven meeting on April 5. The race attracted only three runners, but these included two Classic with Grey Momus being opposed by Don John, the John Scott-trained winner of the 1838 St Leger. The previously undefeated Yorkshire colt was strongly favoured in the betting, but Grey Momus won the two mile contest “in a canter” by two lengths.[31][32] At the next meeting, Grey Momus claimed three more prizes without having to race. He was allowed to walk over in a £50 race over three miles on 15 April.[32] He walked over again in a similar event two days later and in a Queen’s Plate the following afternoon.[33]

Grey Momus was strongly fancied to win a second Ascot Gold Cup but was forced out of the race by injury.[34] He then finished third behind Harkaway and Caravan in the Tradesmen and Inkeepers’ Cup over two and a half miles at Cheltenham on 3 July.[35] On his final start he broke down in a race at Guildford.[5]

Stud career

Grey Momus began his stud career by returning to his breeder’s Sledmere Stud. He was bought by Count Hahn of Basedow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and exported to Germany where he had some success as a stallion. Among his German progeny were the Henckel-Rennen winner Seal and Dolores, the winner of the Union-Rennen.[36] Grey Momus died in 1856.

Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grey_Momus

Visitors to Sledmere House, at Sledmere, can now tour the stables where the Sykes family have bred some of the world’s most famous racehorses, including Spearmint, Straitlace, Scottish Union, Grey Momus, and Polly Agnes, whose foal Lily Agnes was the dam of unbeaten Triple Crown winner Ormonde, whose descendants include Northern Dancer and Shergar.

Link: http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/news/12932921.display/

Early 19C Aquatint Engraving of Grey Momus by John Frederick Herring Snr

Charles Hunt (1803 – 1877) was one of the Victorian Era’s finest engravers. He worked closely with John Frederick Herring Snr and Jnr and S & J Fuller Publishers.

Link: http://www.avictorian.com/Hunt_Charles.html

Early 19C Aquatint Engraving of Grey Momus by John Frederick Herring Snr

S. & J. Fuller were renowned London based publishers from 1809 to 1862. They had their premises at 34 Rathbone Place, London.

Link: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=16890

Early 19C Aquatint Engraving of Grey Momus by John Frederick Herring Snr

Additional Link: http://www.john-frederick-herring.org/



Early 19C Aquatint Engraving of Grey Momus by John Frederick Herring Snr.

The engraving has some very minor discolorations in the original paper. However, this is consistent with it’s age and not serious.

The Colors are still very vibrant on this print.

We would not recommend any restoration to this print.

We are of the opinion that this is an ORIGINAL ENGRAVING and is just beautiful the way it is. It is historical…..looks historical and exudes it’s age and quality !

Provenance: Bought from a Collector in Dallas

Dimensions: It is 25″ Wide and 22″ Long (In Frame)


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