Sunday, June 17, 2012

An unexpected Cuneo

Royal Show 1951

Terence Cuneo is well known for his railway paintings but he produced a significant body of work without a train anywhere on the canvas.

This scene from the Royal Show in 1951 shows Massey Harris and Ferguson tractors. It seems odd, to my eyes at least, to see oil paintings of farm machinery rather than bucolic scenes but I like it. He has captured the hustle and bustle of this famous farming event in the days when it was a mobile entity and set up camp at a different location each year.

It's also very unusual in that the image is of trade stands at a show. Those who frequent trade exhibitions will have a good idea what to expect but for most, you simply don't see this end of the business. If you aren't a farmer, it's really going to be new for you.

One question - what are those machines ? Sorry the quality isn't great, it was taken on my phone in less than ideal (for photography) conditions.


James Finister said...

I contacted Sam Evans, a former curator of farm machinery at the Science Museum. His answer was

"Not easy to distinguish but there is a bagger combine on left and a tanker combine on the right (the two largest machines). To the right of the tanker is what might be a baler, with a seed drill in front of it, and to the right of th bagger, in the form of an inverted cone is a spreader for granular fertilizer. A popular make being the Vicon Vari-spreader, tho in the picture is probably a Massey Harris equivalent. I am not sure when Massey Harris became Massey Ferguson but it must have been around this time."

Phil Parker said...

Thanks James. Very interesting. Sorry the photo isn't that great. If it helps, the painting is owned by the Royal Agricultural Society at Stoneleigh Park. I think it's a fantastic picture