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Unique Piece of Sporting Memorabilia

September 2022

A “one off” watercolour by Snaffles is certain to have collectors galloping to Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s biannual Westcountry Sporting Sale next month.

The amusing painting depicts amateur jockey Captain Bobby Vivian being unseated as he rides in the Grand Military Gold Cup in 1923.

The painting by Snaffles, (Charlie Johnson Payne 1884-1967) the artist renowned for his depiction of horses in action, has terrific provenance having been handed down by Captain Vivian’s family through the generations.

Captain Vivian (1898-1984) rode 32 winners under National Hunt rules between 1921 and 1932 – six of them in 1922.

A member of the Life Guards regiment he took part in the Grand Military Gold Cup at Sandown Park in 1923. The race is restricted to serving military amateur riders.

A keen competitor, he re-mounted after being unseated and completed the course, but by then the race for victory was long over.

The painting is signed and dated ’23 and the three riders’ names can be distinguished in feint pencil.

Another interesting item in the sale is a large and impressive carved wooden half block model of a trophy salmon mounted on a mahogany plaque with gilt inscription.

It was carved by PD Malloch of Perth, purveyors of sought-after angling gear.

Founder Peter Duncan Malloch was a leading authority on salmon and trout. He was the first to study the importance of scale markings on salmon, and proved they could explain every period the fish had spent in river or sea.

The model of the salmon to appear at the sporting sale on Thursday, October 6, at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton, was caught in the River Teign, Devon.

Weighing 26 and a half pounds it is reputed to still hold the record for the largest fish to be caught on the Upper River Teign.

Angler and publican Harry Price caught the fish in May 1933 at Fingle Bridge. For many years it was displayed at the Fingle Bridge Inn where Harry was the landlord. An original picture of Harry with the prized fish is included with the lot.

The sale will commence on Thursday, October 6, following the conclusion of the regular monthly antiques sale.

For more information please contact Stuart Triggol, who oversees the sporting sale on 07860 928797.


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