George Augustus Frederick, 6th Earl of Chesterfield, was commonly known as 'The Magnificent' for his extravagance, high living and flamboyant lifestyle. He took a keen interest in the turf and was extremely fond of hunting, even to the extent of taking his pack of hounds to Rome when he spent the winter there in 1840. He was born on May 23, 1805, to Philipp, the 5th Earl, and his second wife, Henrietta. In 1815, at the age of ten, he succeeded to the earldom and inherited estates and a large fortune upon the death of his father. The Earl was Master of the Pytchley for two colorful years, and his hunt stable consisted of first-rate horses, eighteen for himself and thirty-three for his hunt staff.
Among the racehorses in the Earl's stable were the notable Priam, Lady Evelyn and Don John. He was associated with Chifneys, the great racing dynasty, and also with John Scott, who trained at Whitehall. The Earl later trained his own horses at his estate, Bretby, and engaged Tom Taylor as his trainer. According to a note in Bailey's Magazine the Earl is said to have presented John Scott "with two magnificent paintings by Herring which are the chief ornaments of the Whithall Gallery the subjects are Industry and Caroline; Elvina [sic], with William Scott and Charles Edwards going down to the start for the Oaks...." (November 1860, II, p.55). The Earl was also a great patron of other artists and employed Sir Frances Grant and Sir Edwin Landseer.
The horse Industry was a bay filly by Priam out of Arachne, bred by the Earl of Chesterfield in 1835. In 1838 she won the Oaks with W. Scott up. Caroline Elvina was a bay filly by Tramp out of Babel, and foaled in 1835. She ran in the Oaks in 1838 and was unplaced. She was eventually sold to the emperor of Russia and exported.
A portrait of Industry was engraved by C & G Hunt and published in 1838 by John Moore for Herring's series of Oaks winners. Appropriately, the plate was dedicated to the Earl of Chesterfield.
Herring painted three versions of this work.
Oil on canvas
John Frederick Herring Sr
28 by 36 in. 71.1 by 91.4 cm
Sale: Christie's, London, May 4, 1951, lot 65
Lonsdale F. Stowell
Sale: Sotheby's Parke Bernet, New York, May 17, 1972
Purchased at the above sale by the present owners father