THE LAWN AT GOODWOOD
Photogravure, published by Dickinson, Publisher to H.M. Queen Victoria,
in London in 1886.
This magnificent print shows a society gathering on the lawns at Goodwood racecourse in Sussex. A large crowd watches as the horses parade past the grandstand and, indeed, the only indication that there are horses present at all are the shadows of the horses and jockeys that can be seen in the foreground. The first official meeting took place at Goodwood in 1802 and by the end of the nineteenth century it had become one of the most fashionable racecourses in the country.
The Prince of Wales, the future King Edward VII, can be seen at the front of the picture with his mistress, Lilly Langtry, seated at a discreet distance to the left. The Prince of Wales was passionate about horse racing, much to his mother’s disapproval, and never missed an opportunity to attend a meeting. He also conducted a very public affair with the society actress Lillie Langtry. Born on Jersey and known as the Jersey Lily, she was one of the first ladies of social standing to make a living on the London stage. Her debut performance was at the Haymarket in 1881 and it was for her that Oscar Wilde wrote his famous play, Lady Windermere’s Fan.
This print is offered in its original, and quite remarkable, hand carved frame and old glass. The early exhibition frame has been embellished with horseshoes, bridles and riding crops.