Naive Late 19th Century English School Antique Oil On Canvas Of A London-Based Horse Drawn Bus / Horse-Bus Or Omnibus


Naive Late 19th Century English School Antique Oil On Canvas Of A London-Based Horse Drawn Bus / Horse-Bus Or Omnibus



A naive late 19th-century English school antique painting of a London-based “horse bus”.

Oil on canvas. Unsigned.

Presented unframed.

What is a horse-bus?

In Victorian London, approximately 200,000 (mainly middle-class) people caught around 1,000 horse-buses — or omnibuses — each day. Collectively harnessing the power of 50,000 horses and caking the city in a thousand tons of dung every day, these buses were seen everywhere!

Sometimes painted in green livery, sometimes black, and always bedecked with advertisements, they ran every eight minutes from 8 am until midnight by the mid-Victorian period, proclaiming their run such as ‘Hackney to Islington’, on the side as in this painted example.

As for bus stops – they didn’t exist! The horse-bus was simply hailed from the street (they always kept to the left): the cad (also known as a conductor), would stand on a little foothold by the back of the bus, and would bang the roof to get the driver to stop. In the anarchy of pre-Highway Code traffic, he would happily swerve in front of cattle, hansom cabs, and carriages to pick you up!

Presented in its original gilt-gesso oval frame.

Condition – Good overall. There is some surface craquelure that is commensurate with age.  This painting is ready to hang be it unframed or subject to the purchaser choosing their own frame. A further detailed condition report is available upon request.

Size: Unframed – 42 cm x 28.5 cm (16 1/2″ x 11 1/4″)

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We are a member of the following 3 Professional Institutions:

1. LAPADA (London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association) –  LAPADA is the UK’s largest trade association for professional art & antique dealers (representing approximately 500 UK dealer members). All items are backed by our LAPADA guarantee.

2. CINOA – CINOA is the world association of Art & Antique dealer associations (representing 5000 dealers from 32 associations in 22 countries).

3. The Norfolk & Suffolk Antique Dealers Association.

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