Benjamin Marshall
James Belcher, Bare-Knuckle Champion of England ?1803

Artwork details

Benjamin Marshall 1768–1835
James Belcher, Bare-Knuckle Champion of England
Date ?1803
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 905 x 702 mm
frame: 1130 x 930 x 110 mm
Acquisition Bequeathed by Mrs F. Ambrose Clark through the British Sporting Art Trust 1982
Not on display

Display caption

Belcher became bare-knuckle champion in 1800 when he beat Andrew Gamble in five rounds on Wimbledon Common. After defending the title for three years he lost an eye in an accident when playing at rackets and went into semi-retirement, keeping the Jolly Brewers tavern in Wardour Street. Marshall depicts him wearing a 'belcher', a kind of spotted neckerchief named after the boxer. Accompanying him is the bull-terrier Trusty given him by his patron Lord Camelford.

January 1990

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