Havell, Alfred Charles
Alfred Charles Havell (British, 1855-1928)
THE STEEPLECHASE, c. 1880
Oil on canvas, 30" x 50"
Signed with ACH monogram
When A.C. Havell's important work, The Steeplechase, traditionally identified as Racing in Ireland, was previously sold, the piece was accompanied by the following text:
In 1959 this picture was bought as - and an old hand-written label attached to the reverse described it as -"Racing in Ireland."
While there is nothing obvious in the picture to confirm this, it does seem perfectly plausible that it represents an Irish steeplechase circa 1880. The riders appear to be amateurs and, if so, the race is quite likely to be the Conyngham Cup at Punchestown. This was by far the most important Irish race for amateurs and indeed was close in significance to the other two main Irish steeplechases of the period: the Irish Grand National and the Galway Plate.