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The 1st Life Guards - The Hon. A.F. Stanley’s Chargers, Dick & Dinah, 1901
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The 1st Life Guards - The Hon. A.F. Stanley’s Chargers, Dick & Dinah, 1901

Measurements: Each Overall: 35cm (13.75in) x 45.5cm (18in)

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Oil on canvas. Equine portraits of black chargers. The first inscribed verso ‘Dick’, Knightsbridge June 1901 / Honble. A.F. Stanley / 1st Life Guards / W. Redworth / Artist / Slough / Bucks’.  The second inscribed verso ‘ ‘Dinah’, Knightsbridge June 1901 / Honble. A.F. Stanley / 1st Life Guards / W. Redworth / Artist / Slough / Bucks’. Each signed and dated lower right ‘W. Redworth June 1901’, and displaying horse blankets bearing the Hon. Algernon Francis Stanley’s initials.

 

Dick and Dinah were ‘cavalry blacks’ that is to say horses of the colour traditionally ridden by the Household Cavalry. They were supplied by the Government and given that their names began with the same letter, they no doubt belonged to the same intake of officer’s chargers. Dick’s coat shows the telltale white marks of a close fitting saddle on his back, whereby the hair follicles are compressed and pigment can no longer be dispersed through the hair shaft. Likewise Dinah shows the same on back and flank.

 

In 1902 Winston Churchill, M.P. for Oldham, asked the Secretary of State for War why officers of the Household Cavalry were excepted from the provisions of a recent regulation which allowed a free issue of two chargers to each Cavalry officer; and whether, in the event of it not being found possible to supply officers of the Household Cavalry with Government chargers, a sum equivalent to that granted to Cavalry officers of the Line might be placed at their disposal for the purpose. The secretary of state reminded Churchill, ‘The Household Cavalry are a special corps requiring special horses for parade purposes, and it is therefore not held desirable to include them in the proposed arrangements for the rest of the Cavalry.

 

Colonel The Hon. A.F. Stanley, D.S.O, (1874-1962) was sixth son of the 16th Earl of Derby, and was educated at Wellington College. He entered the Army in 1899, and served in South African War (1899-1902) as a Special Service Officer, (Queen’s Medal 2 clasps CC & OFS). Promoted Captain in 1906, he served in France and Flanders during the First World War being Temporary Lieutenant Colonel, 1st Life Guards from December 1914 to June 1916. ‘On 7 Nov[ember 1914] he led his regiment with great resolution and skill during an advance to support and protect the right flank of the 4th Guards Brigade, which had become uncovered by the retreat of a portion of the line. He held on to his position although out of touch on either flank, and thereby materially help the 4th Guards Brigade to re-establish their line during the following night’. He became Lieutenant-Colonel in 1916 and successively commanded the 14th Mounted Brigade and the Guards Machine Gun Regiment. He married Lady Mary Crichton widow of Viscount Crichton, M.V.O., D.S.O., and daughter of the Duke of Westminster.

 

William Josiah Redworth of Slough (1873-1945) trained at the Chelsea Art School and showed in the major London exhibition venues including the Royal Academy and Royal Institution. Two known extant equestrian portraits of Life Guards officer’s chargers - ‘Kingscot’ belonging to Colonel Cross, and another identified by the officer’s shabraque - indicate Redworth’s skill as an animal painter and that his services were favoured by officers of the regiment. He also exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy.



 

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