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Following Finberg’s description and since the 1974 Royal Academy catalogue this has been identified as a study for Country Blacksmith Disputing upon the Price of Iron, and the Price Charged to the Butcher for Shoeing his Poney exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1807 (Tate N00478).1 Chumbley and Warrell state that the drawing ‘relates directly’ to the picture. Certainly there are similarities in the general composition, the background building with its central beam and the position of the man on the left, who perhaps becomes the blacksmith in the picture. But Wilkinson finds this a ‘not very revealing interior’ and, as Hill observes, there are many differences from the picture, notably in the entire right portion of the design. Instead of a horse or pony there seems to be a pig or large dog feeding in the left foreground. In the present writer’s opinion it is not certain that this is a blacksmith’s shop at all. At least one figure on the right seems to be female and it could as easily be a cottage interior or perhaps a farm kitchen.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.52–3 no.68 (pl.78).