Facts about the painting

Size 27" x 35"
Format Oil on Canvas
Signature Yes
Frame Not known

History of the painting

Date Auctioneer Lot Offer Price Sale Price
9 Mar 1976 Sotheby's London 68 Not known £3,000

Other observations

This painting is currently owned by the Geffrye Museum and although not on display can be viewed by prior request to the curator. It is assumed that they purchased it in the 1976 auction. The Geffrye Museum also own another of Harry Brooker's paintings Oranges and Lemons (which is permanently displayed), also painted in the same year and it is possible that these two paintings have stayed together for many years although there is no record of Oranges and Lemons having been auctioned.

Tug of War was the first Harry Brooker painting to break the £1000 auction mark and it did this by quite some margin (it raised £3,000). It was not for another three years that another of Harry Booker's paintings broke this record and then not by much, however in the early 1980's his paintings started to fetch well past this early record.

This painting features all five of the children. Edgar (now aged 11) with Edwin (age 7) helping him is pulling against Oswald (now 10) who has Ruth (age 8) and Charles (age 5) on the floor.