Facts about the painting

Size 28" x 36¼"
Format Oil on Canvas
Signature Yes (but where?)
Frame Not known

History of the painting

Date Auctioneer Lot Offer Price Sale Price
10 Jan 1978 Sotheby's New York 211 Not known £2,706

Other observations

This is a very similar painting to "The Crucial Moment 1895" painted by Harry two years earlier. At first glance the outdoor scenes are the same, but the coal bunker from the earlier painting has disappeared and the structure of the back of the house is not the same. Either this is artistic license or it was painted behind a different house.

This may be Edwin's chance to try to catch the bird, whereas it was Edgar in the earlier painting. Charles (now 12) is probably the one lying down watching and Elsie the little girl. Whether it is Ruth, or indeed her mother who is holding Elsie's hand is far from clear. Perhaps this is painted much earlier in 1897 than "Teatime 1897" and "Making A Dolls House 1897", both of which show Elsie as far more steady on her feet. Obviously big changes in confidence can happen in 9 months at the tender age between 2 and 3.