Rook Hawking near Chesterfield, Cambridgeshire signed and dated 'G.E.Lodge/1889' (lower right) oil on canvas 106.5 x 153cm (41 15/16 x 60 1/4in).
PROVENANCE: Commissioned directly from the artist Thence by descent
Born in Lincolnshire, George Edward Lodge was an popular sporting painter and illustrator, and also an accomplished taxidermist. He was much admired by Archibald Thorburn, who recommended Lodge for a commission to provide a series of bird studies for the New Zealand Government. The two also collaborated on Lord Lilford's Birds of Northamptonshire. He also illustrated and published Memoirs of an Artist Naturalist in 1946. Lodge exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1881, as well as at Suffolk Street.
The present work, a direct commission, shows T. J. Mann at Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, standing beside the cadge, holding a Peregrine Falcon. His falconer Alfred Frost kneels beside the cadge setting a Peregrine to it, another Peregrine sitting behind it, and a Saker Falcon to Frost's right. Seated on the ground is the artist himself. The figure mounted behind Frost is thought to be Capt. C. W. Thomson, as Thomson Rook-Hawked with Mann in 1888.
Mann had three Peregrines that season, 'Vic', a light-coloured Passage Falcon, 'Lady Savlin', a dark Passage Falcon, and 'Lady Lock Vane' an Eyas Falcon.