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Sir John Tenniel, Alice's Evidence, a proof wood-engraving by the Dalziel Brothers.


Height: 130.000 mm
Width: 97.000 mm

PD 1913-4-15-181 (364)

Prints and Drawings

    Sir John Tenniel, Alice's Evidence, a proof wood-engraving by the Dalziel Brothers.

    England, AD 1865

    An illustration to Lewis Carrol's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), p. 177

    Here Alice catches the edge of her skirt on the jury-box, tipping the jurors onto the floor, 'reminding her very much of a globe of gold-fish she had accidentally upset the week before'.

    In 1835, George Dalziel (1815-1902) arrived in London, and shortly afterwards set up a printing practice with his brother Edward (1817-1905). They were later joined by brothers John and Thomas, and sister Margaret, together with various sons and nephews. Their company, the Brothers Dalziel, dominated the world of wood-engraving, the most popular form of book illustration, at that time. They employed some of the most distinguished draughtsmen of the day, including Frederic, Lord Leighton and Sir John Everett Millais. They were extremely conscious of their own reputation: George published a proud account The Dalziel Brothers: A Record of Fifty Years Work (1901). They took pains to ensure that The British Museum acquired their work (including forty-nine volumes of their proofs, in all 54,000). Rossetti had trouble matching his style to the requirements of a block, and attacked them in a letter: 'O woodman, spare that block/ O gash not anyhow;/ It took ten days by clock,/ I'd fain protect it now'.

    John Tenniel (1820-1914) is best remembered for his designs for Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Alice Through the Looking Glass (1872), but his over 2,000 cartoons for Punch provide some of the most evocative images of the Victorian age.

    P. Goldman, Victorian Illustrated Books 18 (London, The British Museum Press, 1995)

    R. Engen, John Tenniel, Alices white kni (Aldershot, Scolar, 1991)


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