Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)

Horse Race, 1934


SKU: 9211
Coloured lithograph, unnumbered proof
16 x 21 in. (40.6 x 53.3 cm)

Height – 40.6cm
Width – 53.3cm

1 in stock


Simon Spear, the artist’s son

Francis Howard Spear (1902-1979) was a printmaker and a stained glass artist. The V&A holds examples of his stained glass and a number of designs for stained glass, but there is only one other print in the collection, a subscription print issued to Lay Members of the Senefelder Club in 1933. The subject of that print is circus horses, and this shows a scene of horse-racing, overlaid with images of a notice with the jockeys’ names and where they were placed. It is a lively an original image, and one of Spear’s most accomplished lithographs.  The edition number as small – and made in a variety of trial colour combinations.

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Francis Spear
1902 - 1979

Francis Howard Spear was born on 22nd December 1902 in South Norwood, south London.

He attended the LCC School of Arts and Crafts (which became the Central School of Arts and Design), he successfully passed Parts 1 and 2 of the Board of Education’s Examination in Industrial Design, specialising in stained glass in 1923.
While studying at the Central School in 1922, he became pupil-assistant to Martin Travers, the leading English practitioner of stained glass.

Spear won a National Scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1923, with a chosen specialism stained glass.

Francis Spear is an important, though not now well-know, figure in twentieth century English stained glass. His working career covers 50 years, from 1922 when he began working with Martin Travers, to 1972, when he ceased teaching at Reigate School of Art. Spear taught John Piper lithography.

During his career, he designed some notable windows, and a short list would include his earliest window, at Warwick School (1925), St. Olave’s in the City (1929), Snaith (1936), Beckenham (1948), Canterbury (1949), Glasgow Cathedral (1951, 1953, 1958), Highbury (1955), Westgate (1960) and Penarth (1962).


Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Poster The Insect Play, The Strand Theatre, circa 1926
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Horse Race, 1934
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Saint Michael Killing Satan
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Martyr Soldier, 1941
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
St. George and the Dragon, 1941
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Christ Derided, Nov 1942
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Design for Stained Glass Window, 1932
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
The artist’s Mother sewing
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
The Artist’s Boots, 1932
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Discarded shoes, circa 1925
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
RCA Sketch ‘The Little Manor Farm’
Francis Spear (1902 - 1979)
Woman scrubbing doorstep, 1924