Cindy's Horse Racing Memorabilia Museum

Racing Memorabilia Museum - Derby Winner Prints

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There is a long series of Kentucky Derby winner prints from a company named Brown and Bigelow which were produced form the 1930's until the 1990's or so. They started out as black and white sketch or charcoal type portaits printed in a process they called "Talio-Chrome" but changed over to color in the 1960's. Each had the horse's name and the artist's signature printed on it as well. These were inexpensive prints designed for companies to give away to their customers as premiums or Christmas gifts. They originally came rolled up with a band of paper around it which gave a bit of the horse's history which is usually missing if the print has been framed, although sometimes it was glued to the back of the frame. They are quite plentiful and easy to find so they rarely bring a good price, usually $20-$25 even if framed. A few will bring more such as Man O'War or Secretariat, but only because they are so popular. These same prints show up on other advertising give away items from Brown and Bigelow such as decks of cards, ash trays, notepads, etc.

Several artists did the prints over the years, but the first was R.H. Palenske (R was for Reinhold). He was born in Chicago in 1884 and did the portraits for about 20 years until his death in 1954. His specialty was western, wilderness, and outdoors subjects and was an expert at engravings. After him, George Shepherd took over for a few years. Both had a similar style and were excellent at horse portraits. After that it was a revolving door with quite a few artists taking turns and the quality of the art suffered.

Find on Derby winner prints or Palenske items on eBay.

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