Clive A. Burden LTD. Rare Maps, Antique Atlases, Books and Decorative Prints

The Mapping of North America

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This caricature depicts Frederick James Archer (1857-86) racing a mouse. The caption below reads ‘Archer’s last ride on Tommy Tittlemouse at Lewis. An unfinished sketch’. Fred Archer was the son of William Archer, a steeplechase jockey who won the 1858 Grand National. At the age of 12 Fred won his first race, a steeplechase at Bangor. His first win on the flat was in 1870 and within four years he became champion jockey. He retained this title for an amazing 13 years. During his short career he won 2,748 races (out of 8084) and his record of 246 winners in the 1885 season stood until 1933. At 5 feet 10 inches, Archer was tall for a jockey, and he constantly fasted to reduce his weight during the season. In winter he would be 11 stone (154 pounds), his ideal racing weight was 8 stone 7 lbs. (119 pounds). In attempting to achieve that weight he wasted away leaving him open to catching a chill which led to typhoid. Severely depressed following the death of his wife, four days later, on the second anniversary of her death, he committed suicide with a gun.

The artist, Sir Charles Garden Assheton-Smith (1951-1914) was born Charles Garden Duff, son of Robert Gordon Duff, a Justice of the Peace. On the death of Charles’ brother George William Duff Assheton-Smith, he inherited the Vaynol Estates and assumed his new name by Royal licence. Sir Charles was a landowner and keen follower of the National Hunt. He won the Grand National in 1893 with ‘Cloister’ and again in 1912 and 1913. He is also known as an amateur caricaturist and he had some of his work published by Vanity Fair under the name ‘Cloister’. The initials CGD appear on the watercolour. ‘Death of Sir Charles Assheton-Smith, obituary in the ‘North Wales Chronicle’, 25 September 1914; ODNB.
ASSHETON-SMITH, Sir Charles Garden

(Fred Archer)

Watercolour, c.200 x 330 mm.
Stock number: 10643


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