Woburn Sheepshearing

The Woburn Sheepshearing print of 1811 is a famous image, and original copies hang in several houses in Eversholt. I [EJW] have always wanted to publish a good copy of the picture, but the originals are all encased behind glass, making photography difficult. I had intended to ask Sally Abbis if I could unseal her copy, but she died before I had a chance. However, Richard Abbiss very kindly lent me her copy shortly after her death, and gave permission to remove it from the frame for photography. Thank you, Richard.

[To be continued – need a transcription of the text on the print, and maybe some more analysis.]

As far as I know, there is no Eversholt connection at all to the image, but it’s still a nice picture. There’s a copy in the British Museum, the National Trust has one, and originals and copies are for sale commonly online, but this may be the highest resolution digital copy available for free.

Here is a jpeg version of the print. This is a 27Mbyte jpeg, a 110 megapixel image, so some computers might struggle to view it. Click for the big version if you dare! You can right-click this small image here and download the jpeg and view it locally if you want, rather than just click and hope the browser can handle it. I [EJW] place this copy in the public domain. That’s 9 hours of my life I’ll never see again 🙂 There are details of how the picture was made at Photographing Big Documents. The brown shading is present on the paper copy, which was, long ago, folded into three.

woburn sheepshearing

The image above is slightly contrast-enhanced to make up for fading of the print. I do have the 2Gbyte photoshop file still if anyone would like to try and make a better version. Leave a comment if you’d like access.

This image below is a reduced-resolution version of the one above, one quarter the number of pixels. It might be more suitable for some purposes. It’s a 9 Mbyte jpeg. Click for the big version, or again, right-click and save.

woburn sheepshearing lower resolution

Leave a comment for publication