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The First Crabbet Park Sale

22nd July 1882 at 2pm

The first of fifiteen sales to be held at Crabbet Park by Lady Anne and Wilfrid Blunt

From Lady Anne Blunt's Journal entry

'July 22nd

The day expected so long.. It came with a shower and continued gloomily though not raining until 10 o'clock when serious rain began to fall. Nevertheless people began to arrive between 9 and 10 and before the hour appointed for luncheon a large and distinguished company had assembled....

...there was a very short time for us to walk round and say good morning to not half the people when Mr T (Tattershall) mounted on his pulpit and it was time for W. (Wilfrid) and me, who preferred not seeng the process of bidding, to go. The first two mares were already being led up, Purple Stock and Francolin. We went to the house and sat with Minnie in the Library, sending David to watch how the first and second sold. He soon came back and said 110 and 120, which was a good beginning.....'

Taken from:


Journals and Correspondence 1878-1917

Edited by Rosemary Archer and James Fleming

Page 152

The first Crabbet Park Sale brochure

Courtesy of Rosemary Archer

The following fourteen horses were listed at the first of the Crabbet Park Sales:

We have obtained the sale values from marked up copies of the sale brochure and this is our best assessment of the sale price. 

Horses were sold in guineas (gns) whose value was 21 shillings (£1 and 1 shilling) which is now £1 and 5 pence. This was a useful practice as the extra shilling was used as a 5% commission for the auctioneer, the owner receiving the £1 (20 shillings). In fact horses are still sold at auction using this same practice.

The mares averaged £120 in this sale, c. £13,440 at todays prices.

It became a policy of WIlfrid Blunt to list some of the best Crabbet horses in the sales with no real intention of selling them! 

Either the reserve was set extremely high or they were withdrawn during the sale as is the case with the three horses here.

Purple Stock and Francolin were both sold to Mr. Dangar of New South Wales and exported to Australia in 1882. ​Sadly these horses were never registered and were not known to have bred any purebred stock.

* Damask Rose was given back to Crabbet in 1890 on the chance of her breeding as she had become unsafe to ride.

   Unfortunately she didn't settle and died in the Autumn of that year.

** Wild Thyme was repurchased by by the Blunts at their own sale in 1884 with her filly Wild Honey (by Kars)

Pharoah was sold to Count Joseph Potocki of the Antinony Stud in Poland (the breeder of the world famous Skowronek). He had arrived at Crabbet the day before the sale with the hope of buying a horse for the stud. Lady Anne noted in her diary a wish for the Count to have Pharoah.

July 21st

Referring to Count Potocki... 

'He wants to buy a horse, not having had a fresh importation for five years - I should like him to have Pharoah.'

The Count was indeed successful in purchasing Pharoah. Three years later he sold the horse who became the principal stallion at the Emperor of Russias private stud.

Pharoah (1876) taken in 1881 aged 5 years

Crabbet Archives

Lady Anne noted in her personal copy of the Crabbet Stud book:

'In 1891 and inquiry was made with a view to repurchase (Azrek being sold) of Pharoah. But Count Potocki wrote "Il n'ya pa question de la racheté" adding that if there were, he would be the first to do so !

In 1899 heard from Colonel Alexandre de Sdanovitch that Pharoah was at the Derkoul (Russian Government) Stud.'

In the press:

From The Preston Chronicle and Lancashire Advertiser, July 29th 1882

Crabbet Stud horse sale of 1882

Newspaper Image © The British Library Board. All rights reserved.

With thanks to The British Newspaper Archive ( 

Article text

"The sale of the Crabbet Stud of Arab horses took place last week, when there were about 200 people present. The beautiful pure Arab stallion Pharaoh was sold for £525 to go to Count Potoki's stud of Arabs in Poland.


The brood mares averaged £120, and one two year-old filly fetched £155. The total of the 11 Arabs sold was £1,550. Two of the best mares were bought for Australia and two for the Continent."

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