The Sale of Old Dobbin

Contributed by Dudley Museum

The Sale of Old Dobbin by John Robertson Reid (1851-1926). Copyright Dudley Museum & Art Gallery

This picture tells the story of an event that happened in 1874 when a farmer worker, William Bromley, was evicted from his farm at Yalding in Kent and forced to sell off all his belongings, including his faithful old horse Dobbin. William Bromley is seated front left and the young girl next to him, weeping quietly in a handkerchief, is his eldest daughter Emma, who was ten at the time. A few months later the family emigrated to New Zealand. This information only came to light in 1998 when William Bromley's great great grandson, Jack Sauvarin, turned up at Dudley Museum and Art Gallery, on a visit from New Zealand, to see the painting. Before then the picture was thought to be a generalised depiction of rural poverty in Victorian England and not based on an actual historical episode. Painted by John Robertson Reid, 1851-1926.

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  • 1. At 18:39 on 16 August 2011, susan wrote:

    I was left a very old print by my grandparents, as it was bought for them as a wedding present, and it was second hand then, is it worth any money original frame, haven't a clue.

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  • 2. At 12:46 on 5 November 2011, Ros wrote:

    I remember seeing a print of this painting at my grandmother's house when I was small. My mother (who is now 86)says the print was left behind when her mother and father moved out. I would very much like to get hold of a print. Can anyone suggest a reputable retail where I can obtain a copy? Many thanks in advance

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  • 3. At 23:37 on 6 May 2012, Real Langford wrote:

    I have presently a calendar dating of 1925 issued by Family Herald and Weekly Star from Montreal Canada, any idea if any value. Thanks in advance..

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  • 4. At 01:39 on 14 May 2012, sandradaly wrote:

    I too am looking for a print of this lovely picture. It used to hang in the hall of my grandmother's house many years ago. now I have begun the search I don't want to give up until I get a copy of the picture!

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