Beer In Art #73: Charles Spencelayh’s The Steward

Today’s work of art is something of a find. I wrote about it when I highlighted another work by the same artist early in my Beer In Art series. In fact, it was the sixth work back in 2008, Charles Spencelayh’s Good Health. After sharing his biography from Wikipedia, I also discovered the following.

Supposedly, he may have done a painting commissioned by the Bass Brewery for them to use in advertising entitled The Steward, depicting a steward opening a bottle of Bass. But so far I’ve been unable to find anything more about it or see what it looks like.

Happily, Diane Hadley, a pub owner in the UK, wrote me to tell me she had one of either 6 or 10 copies Bass gave out hanging in her pub. It was given to her by a Bass representative “some 22 years ago.” And more importantly, she was kind enough to take a few photos of it and send them my way, so I can share it with the world. So here is The Steward, by Charles Spencelayh. Thanks Diane.


The bottom of the print includes the following text:

by Charles Spencelayh H.R.B.S.A., R.M.S., V.P.B.W.S.
The subject of this finely executed work is thought to have been the Steward at the old Bass Club in High Street, Burton upon Trent. Spencelayh, however, kept very poor records of his work which he frequently did not sign or date. He is known to have produced a number of other outstanding paintings of well known commercial products in his early life.

Here’s a closer view.

And here’s a close-up of the Bass Ale bottles sitting on a tray.

Five of his paintings are at the Tate in London and a few more are shown at the online Art Renewal Center and Bridgeman has quite a few. There are also some links at the ArtCyclopedia.


  1. Millie Wallace says

    We have just been given a framed print of the Steward by the executor of our next door neighbour’s will & it is lovely to have seen this article.
    We have loved this print for over 40 years.

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