by Austin Sprake:
This was one of the first Stevengraphs, having been woven in the York Exhibition of 1879, as is occasionally stated in print in the lower left corner of the mount or on the special York Exhibition back label.
by Geoffrey Godden:
This landscape view, companion to THE START [st556 on this site], shows the finish of a horse-race, the first title, THE STRUGGLE, soon giving way to the better known description, THE FINISH [see st192 on this site].
The subject was registered on 14 August 1879, at a period when the York Exhibition was still on and rare examples such as the one shown above were affixed to special York Exhibition card-mounts with the title printed in an unusual type. A special one-title label was also affixed to these first issues.
Before discussing the standard versions, mention must be made of a very rare variation - of which, at the time of writing, only one example has appeared on the market [this is listed as st568 on this site]. In this silk the four main horses of the standard picture are shown on their own, without any background and without the group of horses coming up from the top right-hand corner of the picture. The foreground is made up of horizontal dashes. The price of such extreme rarities is a matter for personal bargaining.
The standard version has a background and second group of horses. The foreground though was subject to change. The early runs [as shown in st572] have much feather-like shading near the right edge.
This is much simplified on later issues [as shown above], but still with the 1879 York Exhibition credit.
The standard post-York Exhibition specimens [st580 on this site] were mounted on type B cards with label 4, or higher back-labels. On label 10, the original title was amended to THE FINISH; consequently, examples with the first title are found only on type B card-mounts - normally B2 or B3.
This design was first registered on 14 August 1879.