1857. Fore-edge painting of jockey and horse. Charles Wheatly on Book of Common Prayer.


Wheatly's classic commentary on the Book of Common Prayer, decorated with a fore-edge painting of a remarkable horse jockey of the early 19th century, Samual Chiffney.

Chiffney was from a family of horse racers, and he himself won the Oaks five times, and the Derby twice. He is represented wearing jockey's costume and carrying whip and saddle, weighing scales to the right, horse and man behind him.

Due to the relative obscurity of an early 19th century jockey, I would guess this fore-edge painting was executed in the 19th century (a desirable trait).

No hints of the fore-edge painting appear when the book is closed, but when you fan the leaves the painting pops out (brightest if viewed looking somewhat down on it).

A fun story goes along with the book, but I have not been able to collaborate it. A card placed in the book states, "From the library of the Rev. A.B. Harding, the well known "Sporting Parson" of Saffron Walden, Essex". I can find no historical record of this individual, but it is a romantic notion that hidden within this seemingly pious work is a painting of the Parson's true passion. Jack Russell is the only "Sporting Parson" that I am aware of.

Physical Attributes

Measures 18 x 11.5 x 3.5 cm. Leather case like binding with title on cloth on spine. All edges marbled. Fore-edge painting. Pages (2), 532, (2).


See pictures. A little edge wear to the binding. A few pencil bookseller inscriptions have been erased from the endpapers. Name of "AB Harding" in pen on blank free front endpaper. Frontis has two small spots at the bottom edge. No writing. No tears. Some darkening to marbled edges.

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