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19Th Century Painting Boy Francis James Fry Aged 5 Riding Pony & Attendant Dog

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  • £5,000.00
  • €5,816 Euro
  • $6,215 US Dollar

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Item Description

1 British Victorian oil painting, depicting the determined boy Francis James Fry aged 5, riding his pony with an attentive attendant dog. Witness the perfect portrait of the sheer joy of freedom and the thrill of the unknown, signed by the artist John Alfred Wheeler.

Oil on canvas set in a fine traditional gilt frame.

Subject hunting portrait believed to be Francis James Fry when he was aged approximate 5 years old showing in side profile wearing smart young gentlemen's riders uniform with overcoat and black hat sitting on his pony, he is looking down towards his beloved attendant dog who is shown on the lower left flank, who is most happy to see him as the dog is looking up with his tongue hanging out panting. Set in autumn time in an open countryside green field, with tall brown rows of trees in the background., above with mainly overcast grey cloudy sky with spots of blue shining through.

Signed by the known listed known British artist John Alfred Wheeler.

Circa mid 19th century Victoria era.

Wheeler captures the scene so beautifully.

Biography of the artist John Alfred WHEELER 1821 – 1903.

Wheeler was born in 1821 and began life in Andoversford which is a village and civil parish in the Cotswold District of Gloucestershire, England, about 5 miles east of Cheltenham. His father was John Wheeler and he was also dad to James Thomas Wheeler and Alfred Wheeler. He joined the 2nd Queens Corps where he gained a wealth of experiance of learning about horses, this was going to be very handy for his future career as an animal painter.

John Alfred Wheeler is thought of as one of the most expert animal artists of his generation. You can find other examples of his paintings which can be found at the National Trust collections like Bath Guildhall. National Trust for Scotland, House of Dun. National Trust for Scotland, Salford Museum & Art Gallery.

His army career was cut short after only a few years due to his  poor health when he was let go. He also painted many of the main racehorses of the day his backers were known to be the Duke of Beaufort, Baron Rothschild & Duke of Westminster along with notable others.

His works have been auctioned throughout Europe, the UK and the USA reaching up to $45,000 US Dollars.

J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd., better known as Fry's, was a British chocolate company owned by Joseph Storrs Fryand his family. Beginning in Bristol in the 18th century, the business went through several changes of name and ownership, becoming J. S. Fry & Sons in 1822. In 1847, Fry's produced the first solid chocolate bar. The company also created the first filled chocolate sweet, Cream Sticks, in 1853. Fry is most famous for Fry's Chocolate Cream, the first mass-produced chocolate bar, which was launched in 1866, and Fry's Turkish Delight, launched in 1914.

Fry, alongside Cadbury and Rowntree's, was one of the big three British confectionery manufacturers throughout much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and all three companies were founded by Quakers.The company became a division of Cadbury in the early twentieth century. The division's Somerdale Factory near Bristol was closed after the 2010 takeover of Cadbury's by Kraft Foods Inc.

Joseph Fry, a Quaker, was born in 1728. He started making chocolate around 1759. In 1761, Fry and John Vaughan purchased a small shop from an apothecary, Walter Churchman, and with it the patent for a chocolate refining process. The company was then named "Fry, Vaughan & Co.". In 1777 their chocolate works moved from Newgate Street to Union Street, Bristol. Joseph Fry died in 1787 and the company was renamed "Anna Fry & Son". In 1795 Joseph Storrs Fry assumed control of the company. He patented a method of grinding cocoa beans using a Watt steam engine, and as a result, factory techniques were introduced into the cocoa business.

In 1803, Anna Fry died and Joseph Storrs Fry partnered with a Dr. Hunt. The business was renamed "Fry & Hunt". In 1822 Hunt retired and Joseph Storrs Fry took on his sons Joseph, Francis and Richard as partners: the firm was renamed "J. S. Fry & Sons". The company became the largest commercial producer of chocolate in the UK. In 1835, Joseph Storrs Fry died and his sons took full control.
In 1847, the Fry's chocolate factory on Union Street, Bristol, moulded a chocolate bar suitable for large-scale production.

The firm began producing the Fry's Chocolate Cream bar in 1866. Although it is not the very first one, it is considered one of the first chocolate bars suitable for widespread consumption. Over 220 products were introduced in the following decades, including the UK's first chocolate Easter egg in 1873 and Fry's Turkish Delight (or "Fry's Turkish bar") in 1914.[10] In 1896 the firm became a registered private company, run by the Fry family, with Joseph Storrs Fry II, grandson of the first Joseph Storrs Fry, as the chairman.

Provenance froma fine art auction in the Shires, this painting was handed down through the generations of the Fry's Chocolate family, with auction label verso along with another label framed by Mendip framing, Rickford Burrington, Bristol.

Highly sought after by Fry's Chocolate collectors.

Ready for immediate home wall display with hanging thread verso.

Condition report. 

Offered in fine used condition. 

The painting surface has various craquelure, foxing stains also frame stretcher marks showing through along with some paint loss in places, the frame having general wear, dust, scuffs, scratches, some losses commensurate with usage & age. Would benefit with a professional clean.

New hanging brackets and thread have ben fitted to the back ready for immediate home wall display.

International buyers worldwide shipping is available please ask for a quote.


Size of frame

High (88 cm)
Wide (74cm)
Depth (5.5cm)

Item Info

Seller Location

Chester, Cheshire

Item Dimensions

H: 88cm W: 74cm D: 5.5cm


Mid 19th century

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Location

Chester, Cheshire

Item Location

United Kingdom

Seller Contact No

+44 (0)7494 763382