Featured

August 2018

 

Bernhard Siedgfried Albinus and Jan Wandelaar

Tabluae Anatomicae Scelletti et Musculorum Corpis, 1747

A pupil of the renowned Dutch physician Herman Boerhaave, Bernhard Siedgfried Albinus was the leading anatomist of his time, and in 1747 he published his most important work, Tabluae Anatomicae Scelletti et Musculorum Corpis Humani, with an English edition appearing two years later.

Of outstanding quality, the illustrations for the Tabluae were far ahead of anything that had previously appeared, and marked a high-point in the close association between Art and Anatomy. Executed under Albinus’s direct supervision, the drawings had to meet his three rules – objectivity (precise depiction of form and location), symmetry (aesthetically beautiful with ideal proportions), and vitality (strength, beauty, and grace of movement). The two most famous of the plates depict a rhinoceros calf with a horn yet to grow, drawn from the  first living specimen in Europe by the artist and engraver Jan Wandelaar.

Clara was an Indian Rhinoceros who had been gifted by the King of Assam to the director of the Dutch East India Company in Bengal, and brought up as a pet until she grew too large for the house. She was sold to a Dutch captain and arrived in Holland in 1741 where she went on public exhibition becoming an immediate sensation; Albinus and Wandelaar were entranced upon seeing her and claimed her as the symbol of their work.

For nearly twenty years Clara travelled in style around Europe; poems were written to her, portraits painted of her, a hairstyle ‘á la rhinoceros’ dedicated to her. She was handled with considerate care, and fed on a fine diet which included beer, wine and tobacco smoke being blown into her nostrils. Immortalised in memorabilia and the decorative arts, she is mentioned in letters and memoirs from Diderot to Casenova. Wandlelaar’s inclusion of Clara was to heighten the contrast of light and shadow, perspective, contour, form and size, but also to delight with the addition of such a rare and famous beast.

The Tabulae was some twenty years in the making, thirteen for the artwork, utilising a complex three phase grid system for precision and another seven for the engraving. Although widely criticised at time of publication for the very backgrounds that make it so desirable today, this innovative collaboration influenced generations of anatomists and artists, and is one of the most important anatomical works produced during the Age of Enlightenment.

To see more original antique anatomical prints, please click on the link Anatomy For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

July 2018

Mower Martin: Halifax, Nova Scotia. 1907. An original chromolithograph. 6" x 5". [CANp658]
Halifax: York Redoubt and the harbour.

Thomas Mower Martin

Canada, 1907

A prolific artist until his death at the age of 95, Thomas Mower Martin would be heralded as the ‘Dean of Canadian Painters’ and ”The Father of Canadian Art’. Born in England, Mower Martin was destined for a military career. However after attending several Royal Academy exhibitions he began studying at a number of artistic institutions. In 1862, he bought a farm from a newspaper advertisement and emigrated to Canada with his wife. The farmland was of poor quality and the lifestyle meagre but eventually Mower Martin began painting full time having acquired commissions in Canada and the United States. In 1887 under the sponsorship of the Canadian Pacific Railway he made his first trip to Western Canada, returning every year for a decade and becoming one of the group of artists known as The Railway Painters.

Mower Martin was a founding member of the Ontario Society of Artists, The Royal Canadian Academy and a director of the Ontario Government Art school. He travelled extensively throughout the country and published his major compilation Canada in 1907 with text by Wilfred Owen. His work was a mixture of realism and naturalism, capturing the extraordinary diversity and vastness of the Canadian landscape as it entered the 20th century.

To see more original antique prints of Canada. please click on the link Canada For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

June 2018

Kip: Chelsea House, London. c1708. An original antique copper engraving. 19" x 14". [LDNp9558]
Chelsea House: Bird’s eye view from the Thames to Kensington.

Johannes Kip

Britannia Illustrata, c1708 – 1720

Born in Amsterdam, Johannes Kip produced his most important work in London – a series of architectural etchings after the drawings of Leonard Knyff, published in London by David Mortier of Amsterdam from circa 1708. Further volumes followed with the second volume consisting of similar bird’s-eye views drawn and etched by Kip, and additional volumes containing the works of other artists as well.

Kip’s spirited yet delicate mastery of the engraving medium coupled with his accuracy, attention to detail and handling of light and shade set the standard for all subsequent topographical engravers. The plates are also remarkable for the way in which Knyff was able to elevate his viewpoint in order to achieve a far reaching bird’s eye views over vast areas of land. Given that he had no means of raising himself above the landscape, we can only assume that he achieved these effects by surveying vast areas of land and using the resultant sketches as a basis for his projections. The period features combined with anecdotal details of human interest (men hunting, reaping hay, etc.) tempt the imagination, and draw us into Kip’s enchanting 18th century world.

To see more original antique Kip engravings, please click on the link Johannes Kip For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

 

May 2018

Thornton: Flora Dispensing Her Favours  on the Earth. 1812. An original colour antique mixed-method engraving. 9" x 13". [FLORAp3136]
Flora Dispensing Her Favours on the Earth. 1812

Dr Robert Thornton

The Temple of Flora, 1799-1807.

At the end of the 18th century Dr Robert Thornton, an enthusiastic amateur botanist who had come into a substantial inheritance, sought to produce a botanical work that would be ‘a National Honour’.  The Temple of Flora was based on the ideas of Carl Linnaeus and from 1799-1807 about thirty plates were published. Thornton put every penny into his vision, which ended in financial disaster. In an attempt to salvage some of his fortune he obtained the permission of Parliament to organise a lottery, with twenty-thousand tickets at two guineas each and prizes valued at £77,000, even producing a smaller edition of The Temple of Flora as a lottery prize. Sadly it ended in failure, and when Thornton died in 1837, his family was destitute.

Today, the Temple of Flora is generally held to be one of the finest illustrated botanical works ever produced and is a splendid testament to the passion of Robert Thornton.

To see more original antique Thornton engravings, please click on the link  Dr Robert Thornton For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

April 2018

Jones & Co: Foreign Service. c1886. An original antique chromolithograph. 13" x 18". [MILp9]
Foreign Service: India and South Africa. Cavalry and Infantry.

William Jones & Co

Standard Uniforms & Patterns, c1886

During The Napoleonic Wars an obsession arose in military style and uniforms amongst the warring nations of Europe, a legacy that is reflected in all aspects of men’s attire today from the three piece suit to the lace up shoe. With the defeat of Napoleon English tailors surpassed their continental colleagues in part assisted by earlier pioneers in men’s style such as George ‘Beau’ Brummel, late of the Royal Hussars and creator of the Regency silhouette.

In the latter part of the 19th century William Jones & Co were the leading suppliers of military uniforms, accoutrements, cap badges and swords. This unusual folio issued around 1886, exemplifies the very best of bespoke military tailoring whilst capturing the depth of colour and intricacy in design that could be achieved with fine chromolithographs.

To see more of our  original antique Military and Naval prints, please click on the link  Military & Naval  For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

March 2018

Cheret: Music. 1896. An original antique chromolithograph. 6" x 9". [DECp18329]
Music: Part of the ‘Four Arts’ experimental series by Jules Cheret.

Jules Chéret 

Les Affiches Illustrés, 1896 and Les Affiches étrangères illustrées, 1897

 

Known as the father of the modern poster, Jules Cheret was also in his time referred to as the father of female liberation. From his studio in Paris he offered a different vision of women, reflecting the increasing changes in aspirations at a time when women were still unable to vote. Cheret’s studies of fashionable women soon became a familiar and much admired aspect of the streets of Paris, and are in part credited with the less constrained atmosphere in Paris for women. Known as Cherettes, elegant, exuberant and often daring, these figures influenced an entire generation of women who previously had been limited to two dimensional representations – puritan or prostitute. Cheret was instrumental in changing the way in which women were depicted, and increasingly the imagery became more dynamic.

To see more original antique Cheret posters, please click on the link Jules Chéret  For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

February 2018

London Magazine: New York City. 1761. An original antique copper engraving. 21" x 7". [USAp4846].
New York City from Brooklyn Heights: State Street to Catherine Street with the stockade at far right that would become Wall Street. After the four sheet engraving by William Burgis 1717, one of the earliest views of New York City. With key.

The London Magazine 

1761-2

The London Magazine, or Gentleman’s Monthly Intelligence was founded in 1732 to rival the Gentleman’s Magazine, or Trader’s Monthly Intelligencer, which had been founded the year before.  These ‘magazines’, a new term, were much broader in their scope than the current periodicals, and were a source of domestic and foreign affairs, political commentary, art, literature, history, science and numerous miscellaneous subjects. The readership was also broader, appealing to a burgeoning middle class, with participation encouraged via submissions and contests.

The three colonial panoramas below are rare examples of the illustrations that accompanied the London Magazine, and some of the earliest views available to the collector.

Please click on the image to see it in high-resolution, with details of the work itself.  For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

London Magazine: Philadelphia. 1761. An original antique copper engraving. 21" x 7". [USAp4848]
Philadelphia: From present day South Street to Chestnut Street with vignettes of the Battery and the State House (Independence Hall) . After Thomas Jeffry’s modification of George Heap’s 1754 4 sheet engraving commissioned by Thomas Penn. With key.
London Magazine: Charleston. 1762. An original antique copper engraving. 21" x 7". [USAp4847]
Charleston: Looking across the Cooper River from Granville Bastion to Craven’s Bastion. After Bishop Roberts’s 1749 view, the earliest known view of Charleston. With key.
London Magazine: New York City. 1761. An original antique copper engraving. 21" x 7". [USAp4846].
New York City from Brooklyn Heights: State Street to Catherine Street with the stockade at far right that would become Wall Street. After the four sheet engraving by William Burgis 1717, one of the earliest views of New York City. With key.
December 2017

Vanity Fair: The Winning Post. 1888. An original antique chromolithograph. 21" x 18". SPORTSp3589
The Winning Post: Jockeys John Osborne, Tom Cannon, John Watts, Fred Webb, Fred Barrett, George Barrett, William Robinson and Fred Rickaby with Sir Astley and Judge Clark in the background. By the racing caricaturist LIB (Liberio Prosperi).

The Winning Post

Liberio Prosperi, Vanity Fair, 1888.

The Sport of Kings was brought to Great Britain by the Romans and developed considerably over the centuries. Initially owners, the majority of whom were aristocratic, rode their own horses but as racing became more organised increasingly employed their grooms to ride. The first formal race was held at Newmarket in the reign of Charles II, and more racecourses soon followed including Ascot in 1711. By the mid-19th century, racing was entrenched as a national event and jockeys, once little more than servants, were elevated in prominence to appear with the great and the good in the society magazine, Vanity Fair.

Liborio Prosperi, an Italian caricaturist who specialised in racing, drew his fantasy race with eight of 1888’s most successful jockeys, amassing 615 wins between them including the 108 wins of that year’s Champion Jockey, Fred Barrett. To the left are course judge and designer, John Clark and one of the greatest patrons of the turf, Sir John Astley.

Please click on the image to see it in high-resolution, with details of the work itself.  For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

November 2017

Wolf:Leopard and Panther. 1861. An original colour antique lithograph. 15" x 11" [NATHISp7493]
Leopards: Felis leopardis. The Panther from Malaysia and the Leopard from Morocco. Drawn from life at the Zoological Society’s Vivarium.

Joseph Wolf

Zoological Sketches, 1861

Joseph Wolf was one of the most accomplished natural history artists working in London during the mid-19th century. Wolf’s Zoological Sketches were commissioned by the Zoological Society of London and published in parts from 1856-67 to provide a record of the rare species living in the society’s Vivarium.

Wolf was particularly noted for his explorations of animals and birds in relation to environment and his treatment of his subject as distinct and individual rather than an exemplar of species or extension of human sentiment. He set his subjects within a natural habitat albeit romanticised for dramatic effect. These original colour lithographs are an enduring testament to a passionate and lyrical talent heralded by critics and colleagues alike as the ‘greatest living animal painter’.

 

To see more original antique Wolf lithographs, please click on the link Joseph Wolf  For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.

 

 

October 2017

Trench: St Paul's. An original antique lithograph. 23" x 9". [LDNp10473]
St.Paul’s: Thames view from St.Martin’s Ludgate Street to St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Lieutenant Colonel Sir Frederick Trench 

Thames Views, 1825

Commissioned by Lt Col Trench to illustrate his proposals for the re-designing of the Embankment, these superbly detailed and annotated views were executed by the watercolourist Thomas Mann Baynes with the printing entrusted to the celebrated master of early lithography, Charles Hullmandel.  Hullmandel’s skillful handling of the medium was much appreciated by contemporaries and was of great importance in popularising lithography as a printing method; he was instrumental in introducing lithography into England and to this day his work ranks with the finest of any period.

Although Trench submitted his plans to Parliament in 1825, it was not for another forty years that his proposals were executed. The Embankment as it is today still corresponds closely to Trench’s designs.

Please click on an image to see it in high-resolution, with details of the work itself.  For enquiries and purchases, please do contact us.