London – Tattersall’s

One was brought up to believe in the country Sunday after-dinner inspection of property, where unlucky week-end visitors are paraded to admire their host’s corn and cattle, but I have often wondered what the English nation did with itself when in town of a Sunday afternoon. I know now. They go to Tattersall’s and look at the horses to be sold next day. Tattersall’s on a fine Sunday afternoon in the season is like a big reception by a not too exclusive hostess. Pretty young girls in charming frocks make the tour of the stables with their menfolk, and very horsey-looking people try to persuade their neighbours that they know as much about horses as the more unobtrusive individuals at whose nod grooms fly to strip their charges for inspection.

Since Richard Tattersall, the last Duke of Kingston’s training-groom, opened his auction mart when his patron died in 1773, and founded his fortunes by buying Highflier for £2500, Tattersall’s has grown into a national institution with a world-wide reputation. It still belongs to the same family, but they moved in 1865 from Grosvenor Place to the present buildings, where every Monday all the year round the auctions take place, and every Sunday in the season dukes and jockeys, horse dealers and country squires, society ladies and trainers’ wives, stroll up and down admiring the horses.