British 19th C, except portraits, Scotland: Artists and Subjects 9 What more can we establish about the painter of this greyhound?

Susan' Whitehead (Winner of the Biggar St Leger, 1856)
Topic: Artist

This painting is signed lower right (slightly below and to the left of the tablet on the low mound). The other greyhound portrait, of 'Sunshine' https://bit.ly/3BrQ8oz in the same collection might be by the same artist and the signature on it looks clearer. A stab at a guess is that the name is McKersow, which is a rare but legitimate Scottish surname. The attached is a composite of the two portraits' signatures. It might also be that the name is McKerrow, which is more frequently to be found in Scotland.

Kieran Owens, Entry reviewed by Art UK

9 comments

James Brown,

McKerrow / MacKerrow is common in Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway (Ronald F. Black 'The Surnames of Scotland') Possibly an artist active in Kirkcudbright (pron. Kirr-koo-bray) at the end of 19th/early 20th c. Check with National Trust for Scotland, Broughton House (pron. Brochton).

Martin Hopkinson,

For a youthful Alexander McKerrow artist see Family Tree Forum 1851 Scotland - 15 in the 1851 census whose son James Dickson McKerroch became an art master, and exhibited in Glasgow. Alexander was born in Douglas in June 1835

Martin Hopkinson,

does the Museum know anything about the painting's previous ownership?

Martin Hopkinson,

This greyhound was the winner of the Biggar St Leger in 1856, and owned by Susan Whitehead
The Greyhound Stud Book is on the internet, but the National Coursing Club was only founded in 1858

Marcie Doran,

I have attached part of an article in the ‘Cork Constitution’ (known at that time as the ‘The Constitution, or, Cork advertiser’) of May 16, 1857, that mentions both ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Susan Whitehead’. It states that the dogs were being auctioned (in Dublin on May 23, 1857) because the owners, Mr. Paterson and Mr. Swann, were “reliquishing Coursing”.

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