Staffordshire Figures Master M'Grath and Pretender circa 1871
Master M'Grath is the most famous Greyhound that ever lived.
He won the coveted Waterloo Cup - the blue riband event for Coursing
in 1868, 1869 & 1871 where he beat the
English hope for the Cup Pretender in the final.
Owned by Lord Lurgan in what is now
Northern Ireland and following news of his victory over Pretender,
bonfires burned on the hills above Belfast in his honour.
He was then summoned to Windsor at Queen Victoria's request,
becoming the only royal audience for a dog in history.
Master M'Grath was a freak of nature, weighing only 54lbs,
he proved virtually unbeatable on the Coursing field winning 38 courses,
losing 1, with 2 undecided.
At his post-mortem his heart was found to be twice the usual size,
but mere physiological factors cannot explain the
enduring legend of Master M'Grath
His name was celebrated in popular songs and ballads
and is remembered today in paintings, prints and in this distinctive and
desirable pair of Staffordshire figures.
Here we have the lovely pair
of the great coursing greyhounds
Master M'Grath & Pretender.
They are my favourite Staffordshire Figures.
To my biased eye they stand out wherever you put them,
I think because of the underglaze black of M'Grath
in contrast to the lovely beige tone of Pretender.
M'Grath & Pretender are rare and very desirable.
They have inevitably always been sought after by coursing supporters.
As a pair they fall into many Staffordshire collections;
Portrait, Sporting, Irish, Animals, Dogs and of course
the pinnacle of any Greyhound collection.
This a true pair that have always been together.
There is a clean unrestored break to the back leg of Master M'Grath.
There is fine restoration to the neck & front of a paw of Pretender.
Height: 9.5 inches