by Austin Sprake:
by Geoffrey Godden:
This landscape view, companion to THE START [st556 on this site], shows the finish of a horse-race, the first title, THE STRUGGLE, soon giving way to the better known description, THE FINISH [st192 on this site].
The subject was registered on 14 August 1879, at a period when the York Exhibition was still on and rare examples such as the one shown in st576 were affixed to special York Exhibition card-mounts with the title printed in an unusual type. A special one-title label was also affixed to these first issues (as shown below).
Before discussing the standard versions, mention must be made of a very rare variation - of which, at the time of writing, only one example has appeared on the market [that is, the silk shown above]. In this silk the four main horses of the standard picture are shown on their own, without any background and without the group of horses coming up from the top right-hand corner of the picture. The foreground is made up of horizontal dashes. The price of such extreme rarities is a matter for personal bargaining.
The standard version has a background and second group of horses. The foreground though was subject to change. The early runs [as shown in st572] have much feather-like shading near the right edge.
This was much simplified on later issues (see st576), but still with the 1879 York Exhibition credit.
The standard post-York Exhibition specimens [st580 on this site] were mounted on type B cards with label 4, or higher back-labels. On label 10, the original title was amended to THE FINISH; consequently, examples with the first title are found only on type B card-mounts - normally B2 or B3.
Design registered 14th August 1879