Isaac and Ede Antique Prints
Stubbs Lincolnshire Ox

George Townley Stubbs after Sir George Stubbs.

To S.r Joseph Banks Bar.t President of the Royal Society, This print of the Lincolnshire Ox is humbly dedicated by his obed.t & serv.t J.n Gibbons.

24 x 19.5 inches

An etching with stipple engraving by George Townley Stubbs after the painting by his uncle, George Stubbs, published in London in 1791.

This tremendous animal was bred in Lincolnshire and brought to London in 1790 where it was exhibited in Hyde Park by gracious permission of the Duke of Gloucester. It was one of the earliest of the prize cattle to be immortalised in print and a precursor for the craze in pedigree portraiture that would dominate the early C19th print trade. Many other breeders and owners followed suit and it became very fashionable to commission both a painting and print run of your favourite bull or cow.
The Lincolnshire Ox was bred in 1782 but by the time it was transported to London in 1790 it had become so unfeasibly heavy (weighing in at a colossal 360 stone) that eight horses were required to pull it in a specially constructed machine. Once in London the public could subscribe to a print and if they did this they were given a free ticket to go and view, initially in Park Lane and latterly in Hyde Park. Those without a subscription had to pay a shilling to go and see it. Once the exhibition was over the plan was to slaughter the ox on the 4th June 1791, in honour of the king's birthday. Unfortunately, due to a lack of exercise and a severe swelling of the joints the poor animal had to be slaughtered (prior to the intended celebration) in April 1791. The meat was said to be "exceedingly fat and rich". An ignoble end for a magnificent beast!

£2600

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