Some of the world’s finest sporting art — and some unusual artefacts — will go on show to the public during building work at the Jockey Club.
For the first time in the Jockey Club’s almost-300 year history, the major part of its collection of paintings and other items will be leaving its premises in Newmarket.
But it will only be moving next door, to the National Horseracing Museum, from 17 January – 23 March 2013.
William Gittus, of Jockey Club Estates Ltd, said: “The Jockey Club Rooms will be closed in the early part of 2013 during the installation of a biomass central heating system.
“Much of our collection will have to go into storage and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to work with the National Horseracing Museum and British Sporting Art Trust and show some of our collection to a wider audience.”
Items that will be on show range from the seminal image of Gimcrack by George Stubbs, painted in 1765, which normally hangs in the club’s Morning Room, to works by Wootton, Sartorius, Herring and Munnings.
The collection also includes the silver-gilt salver mounted with a snuff-box made from a hoof of the world-famous racehorse Eclipse, presented to the Club by King William IV in 1832; and the Newmarket Challenge Whip, reputed to have belonged to Charles II.
James Harvey of the British Sporting Art Trust said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Jockey Club and the National Horseracing Museum to show these treasures to the wider public.
“Some of the finest sporting art in the world will be included in this exhibition, enabling people to access a fascinating aspect of the UK’s cultural history as well as view some absolutely stunning works of art.”