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Saturday, October 17, 2009

First Stop on the Hoof Blog's Pub (Art) Crawl: The Farriers Arms

Farrier's Arms, Worcester, originally uploaded by ronclark5329.

Mr Ron Clark is a photographer in Great Britain with a delightful passion for photographing pub signs. Among his archives are quite a few with horse themes and many with horseshoes, farriers, heavy horses (always my favorite) and related namesakes, usually accompanied by interesting or downright beautiful artwork and ornate brackets, signposts and lanterns.

Over the next few months, The Hoof Blog will be showcasing some of these unusual bits of artistry, and we invite you to send in your favorites as well. It is very kind of Mr Clark to open images from his collection to viewing on the blog.

And there are some real beauties, as well as some intriguing titles. They'd make a beautiful book.

I'd love to know who paints the pub signs and if there are rules to follow or if they all just happen to be tastefully done.

The Farriers Arms is quite a modern pub sign and is a reproduction of the famous painting, "Shoeing the Bay Mare"; the well-known image was originally created by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer in 1844 and is probably the most universal farrier image in the world. Landseer's other horse and dog paintings are beautiful, too.

Get ready for a long (artistic) pub crawl around the British Isles and, if we're lucky, other places in the world! Email with your favorites or leave a comment below.

The Farriers Arms, by the way, is in Worcester, England.


Superfecta said...

I have a few books on the history of pub names and signs. Some of the 19th century theories get a bit romantic, but many along these lines should be pretty straightforward - they probably specifically catered to farriers at some point.

Have I mentioned my idea to visit all the extant coaching inns? I think there's an interesting book there.

Anonymous said...

Fran, here's a book you will surely enjoy. " The English Pub " by Andy Whipple and Rob Anderson, 1985. It is mostly about the signs and painters but has history and pub recipes such as bubbles and squeak. The dust cover features a sign with four horseshoes thus the name of the pub. Happy Halloween, Barry Rice

Anonymous said...

Fran: Sounds like you're having a great time in jolly ole' England. I'm enjoying the blog. Talk to you when you get back. Thanks for the comments and thoughts about my Dad's passing. Lua

Elaine Saunders - Complete Text said...

Horses make regular appearances on pub signs. In the 19th century, at the height of the stage coach boom, whole towns sprung up around staging posts and pubs used their signs to advertise the services on offer eg, Horse & Groom or Waggon and Horses (a stop off for freight rather than passenger transport).

Mention of a farrier on the sign might indicate a resident blacksmith, essential for running repairs. Pretty much as modern tyre and exhaust shops hang signs outside their premises now.

Pub names is a fascinating subject and tells us a great deal about the history of the area or of Britain itself. I'm always pleased to see people covering the topic in their blog, particularly when accompanied by such great photos. I'll follow this with interest!

Elaine Saunders
Author – A Book About Pub Names
It’s A Book About….blog