Andrew Beer, portrait of the racing pigeon “Blue Cock”, oil on canvas, signed Andrew Beer, bottom right, with a list of wins painted by hand beneath.
In extremely good condition, the colours bright and vibrant, having been under glass the whole of its life (now removed), and hence protected from the air and smoke pollution in this country during the middle part of the 20th century.
William Andrew Beer (1862-1954) was an English artist, and is well known for painting racing pigeons, in oils on canvas and board, under the working name of Andrew Beer. A racing pigeon enthusiast himself, he was also a judge at competitive pigeon shows.
This painting is of his later output, c1940 being the date mentioned on the lengthy inscription at the bottom of the painting. Such racing pigeon portraits were commissioned by clubs as a prize for the winning owner, or by the owners themselves.
This painting is typical of his style, in which he painted pigeons at near life-size, singly or in small groups, in profile view, standing on a ledge against a landscape background. He often included text, noting the pigeons' names and achievements. Beer had a studio in Eastville, Bristol, to which the pigeons he was to paint were sometimes sent by train, arriving at the nearby Stapleton Road Station.
His works are in the collections of Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, Pontypridd Museum and the Radstock, Midsomer Norton & District Museum Society.
British Folk Art School c1940.
Framed in its original frame with a faux walnut finish with gilt slip.
Sight: 15.75 " x 12" (40cm x 30cm)
Frame: 23.5" x 19.75” ( 60cm x 49cm)
PLEASE NOTE: I guarantee that this paintings is by Andrew Beer.
I am aware that there are 'lookalike' Andrew Beer pigeon paintings for sale on-line. They are from China, and were made yesterday probably. They are not signed and have no inscription, but do look like Beers. They sell for around £600, which is a lot of money to spend on a fake. Do not be fooled. If it looks too good to be true - it probably is!
For those interested in the background to the racing pigeon world, a very interesting article can be found on the internet entitled:
PIGEON RACING AND WORKING-CLASS CULTURE IN BRITAIN, c. 1870–1950, by Martin Johnes
History Department, Swansea University
Pigeon racing was immensely popular amongst male industrial workers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This article offers an overview of the history of pigeon racing in this period before moving on to explore the sport’s multiple meanings for those who took part.
Pigeon racing offered not only the thrills and excitement of racing but also the more sedate and intellectual rewards of breeding and rearing the birds. The pigeon loft was a masculine enclave and a retreat from the pressures of domestic life for some, although for others it was an opportunity to share time with their family.
As such, pigeon racing demonstrates the complexities of working- class masculinity. Pigeon keeping was also expensive, time consuming and required space. The article thus concludes by arguing that despite the agency workers were able to exercise over their leisure, they were still restricted by wider material constraints."