BIRD, I. (?)
Pen and ink drawing, 210 x 242 mm, titled lower centre, signed lower right ‘I. Bird’ (?), pale foxing, early twentieth century frame.
A fine and detailed nineteenth century drawing of a great English thoroughbred and influential sire in Australian horseracing history, the sire of the great Carbine.
‘Musket (1867–1885) was an English-bred Thoroughbred racehorse and a Leading sire in Australia and New Zealand. He was sired by Toxophilite, his dam was a bay mare (1857) who was a half-sister to General Peel’s dam, by West Australian (winner of the 1853 British Triple Crown) from Brown Bess (1844) by Camel. Musket was inbred to Touchstone in the fourth generation (4×4). In England Musket won nine races including the Ascot Stakes before retiring to stud there where he only had limited patronage. In spite of this he managed to sire Petronel winner of the 2,000 Guineas and Brown Bess (1876) winner of the Doncaster Cup and Goodwood Stakes.
In December 1878 Musket was imported into Victoria by the Auckland Stud Company and then sent to Auckland, New Zealand the following month. Initially he was used here to cover “half-bred” mares to breed coach horses. He sired 28 stakeswinners which had 107 stakes wins … Musket is best remembered for siring the famous Carbine (great-great-grandsire of Nearco), Nordenfeldt, Trenton (a leading sire in Australasia and then exported), Martini-Henry and Hotchkiss, all top sires. Carbine in his day was considered one of the greatest horses in the world, whose feats included winning the 1890 Melbourne Cup with the impost of 10 st 5 lb in the record time of 3:28¼. The bloodlines of Musket including Carbine and Trenton, are still evident in many horses racing today. Musket had his portrait painted by the noted equine artist, Martin Stainforth and it was reproduced in Racehorses in Australia” – Wikipedia