- Museum number
- Object: India-Proofs of Wood-Engravings by The Brothers Dalziel
Album with hand-written title page: 'India-Proofs of Wood-Engravings by The Brothers Dalziel. General Work – Various. 1881. This Book was made up at the time the engravings shown in it were done.' Unusually, the title page is on yellow paper. Half-bound in brown leather and gilt; lettering on spine reads 'Wood-Engravings by the Brothers Dalziel. XLI. Various Works. 1881'. The album includes approximately 467 wood-engraved proofs, with many touched proofs. Following the title-page there is a contents page written by the Dalziels; this provides an extremely useful reference for publishers, titles and clients represented in the albums, although it is not necessarily a reliable finding aid. Throughout the album there are minimal notes in Dalziel's hand that give information such as delivery dates and working notes.
The volume includes book and periodical illustrations of all sorts, and commercial designs and advertisements. There are numerous comic, literary and children’s illustrations, including picture books. There are portraits and maps, some natural history and transport-related images, and some historical illustrations.
Individual prints include:
Nos. 3-4: commercial images for Pears’ soap. This represents a statue, showing an older woman holding a boy by the head, and washing behind his ear. These are two reduced copies, of different sizes, of a larger and much more accomplished wood engraving that Dalziel made for Pears two years earlier (see reg. no. 1913,0415.199, no. 22). The copies are not electrotypes of the earlier wood engraving; they were likely made by photographing a version of the earlier image onto two different sized blocks.
No. 6: commercial design for Liberty & Co. department store.
No. 10: decorative border for an 1881 calendar, made for St Pancras Ironworks.
No. 19: a rural landscape with some substantial buildings and a children’s park. This is the first of many images in this and later volumes of the Dalziel Archive labelled ‘Process’ in Dalziel’s hand. It is a line-block print rather than a wood engraving, and is produced photomechanically from a drawing.
No. 21: decorative and pictorial title for the ‘Monthly Musical Record’.
No. 34: this is the last in a series of eight illustrations after Ernest Griset (nos. 27-34), which were all probably made for a fantasy book for children (not yet identified). However, no. 34 is a rough drawing instead of a wood engraving, and there seems to be no corresponding print in the archive. Possibly Dalziel stuck in a preparatory drawing – or a sketch made later – because no proof was available. It seems the image was engraved, because it is ticked and marked ‘ent[ere]d’.
Nos. 54-75: this series includes many diagrams of plumbing and water sanitation, for an unidentified publication produced by Frederick Warne.
Nos. 76-77, 93-96, 404: pictorial covers, including after Harry Tuck, for titles in the ‘Notable Novels’ series published by Frederick Warne. These include a title by Frances Trollope, one by Matthew Henry Barker, one by G P R James, one by Frederick Chamier, one by Theodore Hook, one by Frederick Marryat, and one by Daniel Defoe.
Nos. 97-126: illustrations after Berry F Berry for a children’s book by F. A. S. Reid, ‘Comic Insects’ (London: Frederick Warne, ). The first illustrations in this series are wood engravings. They then mostly switch to process line blocks from no. 106 onwards. Presumably at this point the producers realised that the new technique (which was faster and cheaper) would be adequate.
Nos. 129-231: illustrations after Henry H Emmerson for his book, ‘The May Blossom: The Princess and Her People’ (London: Frederick Warne, ). There is one colour-printed proof (no. 229). In other cases there are several colour blocks printed separately in monochrome, so that the series includes many partial and fragmented images.
Nos. 232-260: illustrations after Arthur B Frost for Lewis Carroll, ‘Rhyme and Reason’ (London: Macmillan, 1883). Book includes text and illustrations of ‘Phantasmagoria’. For other illustrations to this publication, see the next volume of the Dalziel Archive (reg. no. 1913,0415.203).
Nos. 261-306: covers and illustrations for books published under the auspices of ‘Judy’, a periodical published by Dalziel. Text was mostly written by Judy’s editor, Charles H Ross, and titles include ‘Stage Whispers’, ‘The Book of Brighton’, ‘Mermaids with Other Tales’ and others.
Nos. 307-321: a series of comic portraits, headed ‘C H Ross’ in Dalziel’s hand. Ross was a comic artist and writer, and the editor of Dalziel’s periodical ‘Judy’. Since these illustrations are clearly separated from the ones made for ‘Judy’, they are presumably for an independent project, currently unidentified. It is likely that Ross was the designer of all the portraits, although he may have employed other artists. No. 311, of a boy sitting on a pulley, is printed first in monochrome and then is colour-printed as no. 319 using three separate blocks (red, navy and turquoise).
Nos. 348-351: four wood engravings after Francis S Walker for the ‘Illustrated London News’.
Nos. 359-376, 392-394: a series of maps showing battles and sieges, for an unidentified publication or publications for Frederick Warne.
Nos. 378-381: four illustrations for an unidentified edition of Dante’s ‘Commedia’, probably published by Frederick Warne.
Nos. 402-403: two wood engravings for a new edition of Edward Lear’s ‘Book of Nonsense’, published by Frederick Warne.
No. 405: colour-printed proof on yellow paper, from three colour blocks (red, navy and turquoise) for a novel in ‘Warne’s Star Series’: Edward P Roe, ‘Without a Home’ (London: Frederick Warne, ).
Nos. 406-454: numerous comic illustrations for the magazine ‘Hood’s Annual’, which was published by Dalziel.
Nos. 457-458: covers for two books published by Dalziel’s imprint the ‘Fun Office’.
Nos 459-461: pictorial covers for three religious books, all by Joseph H Ingraham, and all published by Routledge in 1882: ‘The Pillar of Fire’, ‘The Throne of David’ and ‘The Prince of the House of David’ (London: George Routledge, 1882).
- Producer name
Print made by: Dalziel Brothers (All)
Published by: F Warne & Co (Nos. 54-231?, 359-405?)
Published by: Routledge (Nos. 22-53?, 459-461)
Published by: Macmillan & Co (Nos. 232-260)
After: Frederick Barnard (Nos. 336(m), 338-340(m), 342-346(m), 347(s), 435(s))
After: Berry F Berry (Nos. 97-126)
After: Archibald Chasemore (Nos. 261(s), 286-288(m), 305(m))
After: Edward Gurden Dalziel (Nos. 418(m), 419 (unsigned print attributed on grounds of style and continuity))
After: Henry H Emmerson (Nos. 129-131(m), 132, 133-137(m), 138, 139-141(m), 142, 143(m), 144, 145(m), 146, 147(m), 148, 149-152(m), 153-154, 155-158(m), 159, 160-161(m), 162, 163-169(m), 169-172, 173(m), 174-175, 176(m), 177-180, 181(m), 182-184, 185(m), 186-196, 197(m) 198-228, 229(m), 230-231)
After: Francis Arthur Fraser (Nos. 38-41(m), 42, 43-49(m), 333-334(m), 337(m), 341(m) (unsigned print attributed on grounds of style and continuity))
After: Arthur Burdett Frost (Nos. 232-240(s), 241, 242(m), 243-244, 245(m), 246-248(s), 249-253(m), 254-255, 256-260(m))
After: Ernest Griset (Nos. 27-33(s), 34, 50(s), 416-417(s))
After: W Gunston (Nos. 396-401(s))
After: C Harrison (Nos. 7(s), 8(m), 9? (queried print attributed on grounds of style and continuity))
After: Henry Stephen Ludlow (Nos. 127(s), 352(s), 355(s), 420-421(s), 431, 432(s), 466(s) (unsigned print attributed on grounds of style and continuity))
After: Charles Henry Ross (Nos. 307-321 (see object description))
After: H Sanderson (Nos. 433-434(m))
After: Thomas S Seccombe (Nos. 422-423(m))
After: William Small (No. 335(s))
After: Matt Stretch (No. 436(s))
After: James Frank Sullivan (Nos. 414-415(s), 437(m), 438-439, 440(m), 441-442 (unsigned prints attributed on grounds of style and continuity))
After: John Gordon Thomson (Nos. 406(m), 412(m), 424(m))
After: Harry Tuck (Nos. 76(m), 425, 426(m), 427 (unsigned prints attributed on grounds of style and continuity))
After: Francis S Walker (Nos. 348-351(m))
After: Dower Wilson (Nos. 289(s))
- Production date
Height: 435 millimetres (size of bound album)
Thickness: 53 millimetres (size of bound album)
Width: 301 millimetres (size of bound album)
- Curator's comments
- Catalogued by Bethan Stevens (University of Sussex) in partnership with the British Museum and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC); digital photography by Sylph Editions, London (www.sylpheditions.com).
This is one in a series of 49 albums in the British Museum with proof impressions of wood engravings by the Brothers Dalziel.
An overview of the album has been offered here, but it would be possible to identify more writers, titles, artists and publishers on inspection and with further research.
In many cases, designers have been listed for the wood engravings. Where no attribution comments are given, evidence is clear and has been verified (e.g. through publication details, etc.). Further, some indication has also been given throughout when a designer's work is signed with signature or monogram. After the producer's name and the print number or range, the letter 's' in parentheses indicates a signature, the letter 'm' a monogram, and neither letter indicates a print that is unsigned by the draughtsman or draughtswoman. In addition, most of the proofs have the Dalziels' signature, although some do not. The presence/absence of the Dalziel signature has not been catalogued, since it is known that all these prints are by them.
The album includes some hand-written annotation, including brief notes written at the Dalziel office, and some designers's details added more recently, e.g. by Robin de Beaumont.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number