Facts about the painting

Size 28" x 36"
Format Oil on Canvas
Signature Lower Right
Frame Highly Ornate Gilt Frame

History of the painting

Date Auctioneer Lot Offer Price Sale Price
6 Nov 1985 Butterfields San Francisco 576 Not known £5245
3 May 2000 Not known   Not known Not known
29 Oct 2003 Christie's New York 77 $70,000 - $90,000 $35,000

Following the last of the above sales the painting was advertised (for a period of time) on the web site of RAU Antiques for $90,000. It is not known whether it was sold and indeed whether it fetched anywhere near this sum. If it did it would have been far and away the most expensive Harry Brooker painting. Even at the $35,000 reached at auction for this painting in 2003, it ranks at no 6 in the highest price list for Harry's paintings and at no 1 for sales in America.

Other observations

The most significant aspect to this painting is that this is the first appearance of Harry and Edmee's sixth and youngest daughter Elsie. As she was born in June 1894, she can be no older than 18 months in this painting so she is doing well on her feet outside in the yard watching the action.

Their oldest son Edgar (now aged 16) also returns and as in "The Archers 1894" he is the centre of attention, ready to close the door on the bird coop when the pigeon returns. Harry also painted another painting along the same theme "Trapping The Pigeon 1897"

The identity of the other three boys is less clear. One would tend to assume that they were Oswald (now aged 15), Edwin (now aged 12) and Charles (now aged 10). My guess is that Charles is standing next to Elsie, with the other two lying on the ground, Edwin close to Charles. It is not clear why they are lying on the ground but possibly under orders from Edgar to not disturb the birds landing.