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James Pollard - Mail coach in a flood near Shillingford Bridge, Berkshire

James Pollard

Mail coach in a flood near Shillingford Bridge, Berkshire

Oil on canvas: 20(h) x 30(w) in / 50.8(h) x 76.2(w) cm
Signed and dated 1825

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BX 211



Islington 1792 - 1867 Chelsea


Mail coach in a flood near Shillingford Bridge, Berkshire


Signed and dated lower right: J Pollard 1825

Oil on canvas: 20 x 30 in / 50.8 x 76.2 cm

Frame size: 25 ½ x 35 ½ in / 64.8 x 90.2 cm



By R Rosenberg, 1827



The late GS Martin, Esq.;

Sotheby’s London, 23rd February 1938, lot 26

Vickers, London, 1948

Miss Angela Matta;

Christie’s London, 17th April 1964, lot 52

NC Selway, Esq.;

Sotheby’s London, 11th July 1990, lot 134;

Richard Green, London, 1990;

private collection, USA;  

Richard Green, London, 1997;

private collection, UK



NC Selway, James Pollard 1792-1867, Painter of the Age of Coaching, Leigh-on-Sea 1965, p.26, no.20

NC Selway, The Golden Age of Coaching and Sport as Depicted by James Pollard, Leigh-on-Sea 1972, p.24, no.15


James Pollard established his reputation as a painter of coach scenes, which represent a valuable pictorial documentation of the coaching era. With the demise of the coach and the onset of the omnibus and railway, Pollard expanded his subject matter and painted racing, hunting, shooting and angling scenes.

Pollard was the son of the Newcastle-born engraver and print publisher Robert Pollard (1755/6-1839), a pupil of Richard Wilson, and grew up on the main northern coaching route which ran through Islington and Holloway. He was trained as a painter and engraver by his father and also received instruction from the wood engraver Thomas Bewick, his father’s friend and also a Newcastle man. James worked in the family firm as a draughtsman and engraver.

In 1821, an event occurred that altered Pollard’s future. The King’s printseller Edward Orme commissioned him to paint an inn signboard showing a mail coach with horses and passengers. This signboard was first displayed in Orme’s Bond Street shop window, where it was seen by the Austrian ambassador Prince Esterházy, who ordered a replica on canvas. This led to many commissions for coaching scenes. In 1825 Pollard married Elizabeth Ridley. In the 1830s Pollard concentrated exclusively on painting. He collaborated with John Frederick Herring Snr (1795-1865), providing landscape backgrounds, buildings and crowds for racing scenes such as The Doncaster Great St Leger, 1839. Pollard exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1821 and 1839, the British Institution between 1824 and 1844, and at the Suffolk Street Galleries. Many of his works were engraved.

In 1840 Pollard was devastated by the death of his wife and youngest daughter. He ceased painting; when he resumed, demand for his work had slackened. For the last years of his life he received support from the Artists’ Benevolent Institution and lived with his son James Robert Pollard in Chelsea, where he died on 15th October 1867.

The work of James Pollard is represented in the Royal Collection; Brodick Castle, Scotland and the South African National Gallery.

Other Works By
James Pollard:

James Pollard - Pike fishing at Harleyford-on-Thames James Pollard - Angling at South Stoneham, Hampshire