David Gentleman lithograph titled ‘Doggett’s Coat and Badge’ was made circa 1956. Inscribed ‘Doggett’s Coat and Badge’ by David Gentleman A.R.C.A., inspired by Guinness Book of Records‘ , printed by the Curwen Press.
Light scattering on foxing in margins of sheet, small nick in lower margin, else good.
Sheet size 38 x 50cm
‘Doggett’s Coat and Badge is the prize and name for the oldest rowing race in the world. Up to six apprentice watermen of the River Thames in England compete for this prestigious honour, which has been held every year since 1715. The 4 miles 5 furlongs (7,400 m) race is held on the Thames between London Bridge and Cadogan Pier,Chelsea, passing under a total of eleven bridges en route. Originally, it was raced every 1 August against the outgoing (falling or ebb) tide, in the boats used by watermen to ferry passengers across the Thames. Today it is raced at a date and time in late July that coincides with the incoming (rising or flood) tide, in contemporary single sculling boats.
The winner’s prize is a traditional watermen’s red coat with a silver badge added, displaying the horse of the House of Hanover and the word “Liberty”, in honour of the accession of George 1 to the throne.In addition, each competitor to complete the course receives a miniature of a Doggett’s Badge for their lapel in a ceremony at Watermen’s Hall, in silver for the winner and in bronze for the others.
Guinness Breweries produced a series of lithographs by young emerging artists of the day to promote the first Guinness Book of Records. Guinness Breweries had used posters & booklets to promote their produce, a stout beer, from the 1930’s, when sales began to fall. They often used this form of advertising. ‘After the founding of The Guinness Book of Records at 107 Fleet Street, the first 198-page edition was bound on 27 August 1955 and went to the top of the British best seller lists by Christmas. Beaver said: “It was a marketing give away – it wasn’t supposed to be a money maker”. The following year, it launched in the US, and sold 70,000 copies. Since then, Guinness World Records has become a household name and the global leader in world records. The book has gone on to become a record breaker in its own right; with sales of more than 100 million copies in 100 different countries and 37 languages, Guinness World Records is the world’s bestselling copyright book ever.’
Garton stated that there were two series of posters issued in 1956 and 1957 to promote the book ‘Guinness Book of Records’ and Guinness stout. A series of six was issued each year and commissioned emerging artists of the day, all printed in lithography, possibly by Curwen Press. Listed below are the posters issued by Guinness in 1956 & 1957:
The Guinness lithographs are: Rosamund Steed (Sailing at Cork), David Gentleman (Doggett’s Coat & Badge ), Carel Weight (Cup Tie) , Alastair Grant (Pigeon Racing) , Leonard Rosoman (Royal Albert Dock, London) & Richard Guyatt (Radcliffe Camera), Bernard Cheese (A Fishermans Story 1956), Barnett Freedman (Darts Champion 1956), John Skeaping and Kenneth Rowntree (Ballymoss 1956), Brian Robb (Southend Pier 1956) and Ronald Glendening (Cycle Racing 1956)