A Boat Race from 1948

The 1948 “Boat Race” by Gwen Raverat (1885-1957) is now on sale at Abbott & Holder in London.

This morning, HTBS received an interesting e-mail from one of our readers, Steve Williams, who points us to a wood engraving at the London firm Abbott & Holder Ltd. Steve has just got the latest painting and print catalogue from the company where he found a print by renowned artist Gwen Raverat (1885-1957) – read more about her here. The engraving in question is the 1948 “Boat Race”, Cambridge, 6×9 inches, printed in colours, signed, numbered 21 of 21. £1,250. Go to the catalogue here.

Looking at the print (above), it is clear that we are not talking about “The Boat Race” between Oxford and Cambridge on the Thames. Instead it is depicting a head race, maybe the May Races on the Cam, where we see four eights, at the upper left hand corner, and some heads of the oarsmen in the right hand lower corner, and then, of course, the eights in the middle of the image.

Though, not a large print, it is beautiful in its muted colours. And £1,250, well, why not?
Thank you, Steve, for sharing!


  1. To me this looks like a bumps race rather than a head race. One of the VIIIs in the foreground looks to be going for a bump. You only get those crowds for May Bumps!

  2. Dear Peter ~ thank you for your comment. It was careless of me to call the May Races, or May Bumps, a head race, which mostly is raced over only one day. And, yes, you only get crowds like these at the May Bumps, to be compared to the less viewed Lent Bumps earlier in the year. By the way, the 1948 winner of the May Bumps was Jesus.

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