The advertising paintings commissioned by Tooth & Co from the 1920s to the 1960s are a unique combination of medium, content and use. Their status as singly commissioned and produced works is unusual in commercial art, while their most appealing feature is the absence of the advertised product from all but a few pub paintings.
Instead of drinking scenes, pub paintings featured depictions of popular sports, pastimes and locales, chosen to reflect the clientele of particular hotels. As thoroughbred racing was the major spectator sport in New South Wales throughout this period, racing was a common subject. Occasionally particular horses or races were depicted, although imprecise provenance makes it unclear if this was so in this case.
The painting is also a fine document of the historical association in New South Wales between racing, betting and hotels. Racing followers and bookmakers were a prominent and controversial part of hotel clienteles for most of the twentieth century.
Charles Pickett, Curator.