An early 19th century study of the Cheshire Foxhounds in kennel, the plaque to the base inscribed 'Cheshire Hounds 1840 Calvert' oil on canvas 58 x 83cm
Provenance: The picture has passed by descent through the Smith-Barry family and subsequently through the marriage of Captain Anthony Villiers MFH and Rosemary Bell, daughter of the Hon. Dorothy Elizabeth Bell (nee Smith-Barry). The Cheshire were the first pack of foxhounds in Cheshire formed in 1763. Their master was the Hon. John Smith-Barry, son of the fourth Earl of Barrymore, of Marbury Hall. Among the hounds was the famed Blue Cap, the original painting of this hound held in the vendor's collection. Blue Cap had beaten the hound owned by Hugo Meynell, founder of the Quorn Hunt, in a race held in 1762. Of interest, the first known idiomatic use of the phrase "sent to Coventry" appears in the Tarpoley Club book entry for 4 November 1765 relating to Smith-Barry. ‘Mr. John Barry having sent the Fox Hounds to a different place to what was ordered, and not meeting them himself at that place, was sent to Coventry, but returned upon giving six bottles of Claret to the Hunt’. Hunting songs: together with a short account of the Tarporley hunt club, from its foundation in 1762 to the year 1869 By Egerton-Warburton R.E.