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Print - The Grand National
  • The Grand National
    Annand, Douglas, born 1903 - died 1976
  • Enlarge image

The Grand National

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1953 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Annand, Douglas, born 1903 - died 1976 (artist)
    Orient Line (printed and published)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Ink on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Pamela Griffiths

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 68, box B II

This menu card was made for a voyage on board the Orient Line cruise ship "Oronsay" in 1953. Illustrated menus such as this were printed in advance on land with the inside (menu part) left blank, to be printed on board ship. Passengers often kept them as souvenirs. The menus reflect the luxury of cruise liner travel during its heyday. "Oronsay" was a new liner, making her maiden voyage in 1951.

Douglas Annand (1903-1976) was a designer and leading light of Australian modernism. From the 1930s he designed the corporate images for some of Australia's largest companies, including the Orient Line (later P&O). Based from 1930 in Sydney, he also produced magazine covers, advertisements, labels, wrapping papers, and textiles. He is well known for his large public mural work, which earned him the Sir John Sulman award in 1941, 1947 and 1951; one of these was for a mural for Orient Line headquarters.

Physical description

Printed dinner menu for the Orient line S.S. 'Oronsay', dated Wednesday, 28th October, 1953. The card is folded once vertically. On the front is a printed image, from an illustration signed Douglas Annand, depicting the Grand National at Aintree.

The image is printed from an outline drawing coloured in pastel washes in pink, several shades of green, brown, orange and grey. The perspective is set as though viewed from above. In the centre is a trophy. The race is taking place and the image design sets the hedges around a horse-shoe. The botom half of the image shows the winner on his horse escorted by mounted guards and surrounded by celebrating crowds, all wearing an variety of hats. Most are merely outlines of head and hat shapes with very few features shown. One man holds a bunch of yellow flowers and the crowd also includes two policemen and a jester, who is black.

The text on the back of the menu card, printed in black in a serif font, describes the Grand National and Aintree race-course. This is headed with an italic headline font 'Orient Line' and 'Randwick'. At the bottom, in a smaller italic font, is text mentioning that this is one of a series of seven impressions of race courses by the same artist; the V&A has one of the others, 'Randwick', E.355-2005. Separating the two headlines and the two texts is a pink star.

Inside, the dinner menu is printed on the right half in a black sans-serif font with occasional italics, centered.

Place of Origin

Britain (made)


ca. 1953 (made)


Annand, Douglas, born 1903 - died 1976 (artist)
Orient Line (printed and published)

Materials and Techniques

Ink on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Artist signature, part of front image, bottom right just below image.

1 ROBI[...]
Within image left centre; first betting stand.

2. [...] SMITH
Within image centre towards left; second betting stand.

Within image centre; THIRD betting stand.

Within image centre towards right; fourth betting stand.


Height: 21 cm, Width: 12.7 cm folded, Width: 25.4 cm open

Object history note

Gift of Mrs. Pamela Griffiths, whose late husband collected them while a passenger on board.

Descriptive line

On-board dinner menu card on the Orient Line S.S. Oronsay, 'The Grand National'' from race-courses series; Wednesday 28 October 1953; Douglas Annand.

Production Note

Reason For Production: Commission


Ink; Paper



Subjects depicted

Jester; Hats; Trophy; Policemen; Jockeys; Flowers; Horse-shoe; Hedges; Horses


Prints; Sport; Transport

Production Type

Limited edition


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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