From Gauffering to Gauging

Two topics which were often seen in years past but which are seldom seen today.  This chapters’ focus is on two books which I have recently come across.  One gauffered and the other an instruction manual for gauging.

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

 

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

We do not often see gauffering today but it was once a popular way of adding something special to a book.  #Gauffering describes the act of applying a patterned decoration to the block edges of a book.  Gauffering is used most often seen on books with gold or gilded edges.  The pattern is imprinted using heated metal stamps and rollers.  One can also find books with painted images on the edges which also falls under the description of gauffering, I believe.

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

Bible with gauffered edges late 19th century

From the edges of a book to a treatise for the learning of gauging.  We do not teach gauging any more since it is all done by computer now.  A gauger was in years past was an officer of the Royal Revenue Excise and Duty.

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter 1755 4th edition

#TheRoyalGauger by Charles Leadbetter 1755 4th edition

This treatise by #CharlesLeadbetter is an instruction manual for the training and learning of Excise men.  Being an excise man, one needed to work out the areas, volumes, weight etc. of solid, liquid, and gas measures to then calculate the tax which would then be payable to the Revenue.  These men used what we might call a slide rule to work out these measures.

Everards Sliding Rule as improved by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

Everards Sliding Rule as improved by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

#ThomasEverard is credited with the development of the sliding rule in 1683.  There is a chapter on the use of such an instrument to assist in the calculations required for excise.  Leadbetter did not trust printed tables for he said they could be forged and rewritten.  But then one might also say that dodgy excise man using a slide rule no one else knows how to use might also be capable of committing fraud.  The book I have is some 508 pages of tutoring for the calculating of almost everything that an excise man would come across.  It’s plain brown cover has been held often and long.  I would love to say it was in great shape but it is not. Pages 275 to 314 are missing as well as several folded inserts (I believe) but then again it was printed in 1755 and has been often held and well used.  As I page through, I am amazed at the amount of math which was required knowledge. An impressive manual.

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

 

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

The Royal Gauger by Charles Leadbetter @ 1755

 

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Architectural Drawing as Art

I have several architectural drawings of buildings which are in many ways pieces of art.  They are also pieces of history showing buildings as they were conceived and built.  There are several avenues to research such items.  They can be researched through the subject of the drawing, through the architects, and through the printers.

Stonyhurst College Chapel by Dunn & Hansom architects 1877

Stonyhurst College Chapel by Dunn & Hansom architects 1877

In the case of this lithograph, I could research all three aspects.  But there is one anomaly to this print to which I have yet to find an answer.  This is #StonyhurstCollegeChapel.  As drawn by #ArchibaldDunn and #EdwardHansom architects.  The view is from the Priest’s Quadrangle.

Stonyhurst is a prestigious independent private co-ed Catholic school adhering to Jesuit traditions.  It’s motto Quant Je Puis, “All that I can”.  The school’s emphasis is on prayer and service, in accordance with Jesuit philosophy in the hopes of creating “Men and Women for Others”.

The school’s alumni include three Saints, twelve Beati, seven archbishops, seven Victoria Cross winners, a Peruvian president, a Bolivian president, a New Zealand prime minister, a signatory of the American Declaration of Independence and several writers (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), sportsmen, and politicians.

Dunn and Hansom were among the foremost Catholic architects in the north-east of England during the Victorian era.  Two of their most notable works are: the tower and spire of  St Mary’s Roman Catholic Cathedral in Newcastle and the Church of St Michael in Elswick.

Whiteman and Bass lithographers were a well known and reputable publishing company.

Now to the anomaly I mentioned.  In the lower left corner just above the Whiteman and Bass credit is a small rectangular box.  It contains six letters – a small letter in each corner (D, L, T , E read clockwise from top left) and two larger ones in the middle (A over D).  I do not yet know what the small letters are but the two in the middle are the initials of Albrecht Durer – he lived from 1471-1528.  Why are his initials on this image and what do the small letters mean?  I will continue to research.

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Pedro Lobos Art

I came across two woodcuts this past week.  They originate from an artist previously unknown to me and from a country which I have no other art works from.  Neither have I visited this country.  Even the continent in which this country lies is only becoming a more common place for tourists to visit.  I talk of South America and of the country of Chile.  The artist is #PedroLobos (1919-1968).

Cantores Callejeros woodcut by Pedro Lobos

Cantores Callejeros
woodcut by Pedro Lobos

Pedro Lobos came from humble origins – the son of a peasant family.  He worked by day as a textile worker.  He  excelled at portraying rural issues and concerns.  After his high school graduation he worked as a labourer in the textile industry. This experience marked his life deeply, and he began his militancy and commitment to the poorest of Chilean society. He joined the communist youth and rose to hold the post of Secretary General of the Communist Party.  He studied art at the University of Chile.  Pedro Lobos reported and recorded for posterity in a lively and unique way the living conditions of the Chilean underclass.   His work and studies were developed abroad.  Lobos studied in Mexico in the 1930’s.  Mexico was considered the heart of muralism.  There Lobos formed his colourful and harmonious style, strongly influenced by popular themes, peasants and folklore. He later studied in Brazil.

La Brisa woodcut by Pedro Lobos

La Brisa
woodcut by Pedro Lobos

Pedro Lobos is described as a painter of the  childish joys of the people and of the poor children of big sad eyes.  This is certainly true of the two prints in my collection.  A man of immense talent and vision.  A man who loved the people he portrayed.  It shows in his work.

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Art by PW Tompkins

#PeltroWilliamTompkins (1759-1840) was an English engraver.  The son of a landscape painter with a brother who also specialised as a draughtsman and aquatint engraver of course he followed into the family tradition.  Tompkins studied under the great #FrancescoBartolozzi working in the dot and stipple genre.  He was renowned for his skill and was hired as drawing-master to the daughters of George III.  He was appointed historical engraver to the queen.

Children Feeding Chickens engraving by P W Tompkins after Sir Joshua Reynolds @ 1780

Children Feeding Chickens engraving by P W Tompkins after Sir Joshua Reynolds @ 1780

Tompkins established himself as a print publisher but several overly ambitious projects left him with financial difficulties.  His engravings vary from portraits, to prints of other artists works.  He copied artists like Charles Ansell, Angelica Kauffmann, Raphael, and Sir Joshua Reynolds.  The hand-coloured engraving to the left is after Sir Joshua Reynolds.  The British Museum has a slightly different version of this print which they accredit to being after John Russell?

Children feeding Chickens by PW Tompkins after Sir Joshua Reynolds 1780

Children feeding Chickens by PW Tompkins after Sir Joshua Reynolds 1780

I include the title and credits for your perusal.  They are quite clear as to who the artists were as well as the title of the piece.  An absolutely beautiful engraving by a man who had masterly skills as an engraver.

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Art of the Hunt2

When it comes to the painting of rural and country life #GeorgeMorland was one of Britains’ greatest.  I acquired a stipple engraving  and an etching both after Morland  paintings.  They both are concerning the pastime of hunting and I will add two aquatints to the chapter today also.

Hare Shooting engraved by C. Cotton after George Morland

Hare Shooting
engraved by C. Cotton after George Morland

George Morland (1763-1804) was born into an artistic family.  His talent was spotted while he was very young and nurtured by his father.  Copying the great Masters was his beginning but he quickly developed his own style.  He was a handsome young man who worked hard and partied hard.  Elegant, refined subjects slowly were replaced by scenes of humble life in town and country, coastal scenes with fishermen and smugglers, sporting scenes, and most often cottage life, stable scenes, inn court-yard scenes involving lively groups of natural men and women, and still more natural horses, donkeys, dogs, pigs, poultry, and other animals.

Partridge Shooting  George Morland pinx  @ 1798

Partridge Shooting
George Morland pinx
@ 1798

His paintings have a fresh and unaffected style. Morland was a keen observer of minute detail and this shows in his meticulous painting and yet he worked quickly producing hundreds of works – it is sad that in the last eight years of his life he produced some 900 paintings and over a 1000 drawings (that’s almost 1.5 pieces a day) A prodigious output.

Pointer engraving by J. Scott after P. Reinagle

Pointer
engraving by J. Scott after P. Reinagle

#JamesScott (1809-1889) was one of the best engravers of his time.  He worked with many of the best artists of his time with this image after English painter #PhilipReinagle.  A superb engraving which has been nicely hand-coloured.  And to finish this chapter, an etching of a hunting scene which one would certainly not find occurring today.

Heron Shooting - A Cooler after a big Drink' drawn and etched by Rawlins & Alken with aquatint by E. Duncan @ 1835

Heron Shooting – A Cooler after a big Drink’
drawn and etched by Rawlins & Alken with aquatint by E. Duncan
@ 1835

Heron shooting certainly not a sport that one would find today.  but another finely hand-coloured etching with aquatint .

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Tunnel Art

London, as a city, has many things going for it.  It has for centuries been a focal point of banking, business, politics, law, religion, art et al.  To consolidate and enhance it’s position, works have been carried out over the years which have been on the forefront of technology.

Rotherhithe to Wapping Tunnel lithograph by Rudolph Schlicht 1828

Rotherhithe to Wapping Tunnel lithograph by Rudolph Schlicht 1828

The #ThamesTunnel was the first tunnel known to have been successfully constructed underneath a navigable river. It’s construction took 18 years(1825 to 1843).  It measures 35 feet wide by 20 feet high and is 1,300 feet long, running at a depth of 75 feet below the river surface measured at high tide.  The tunnel was originally designed to be used by horse-drawn carriages but never used as such.

 

Thames Tunnel lithograph @ 1828

Thames Tunnel
lithograph @ 1828

The lithograph in my collection shows a great number of aspects in regards to the  construction of the tunnel.  A newly invented ‘tunnelling shield’ devised by #IsambardBrunel and #ThomasCochrane was used to facilitate the tunnelling process.  Even so, problems were rife.  The air quality was terrible, the filthy sewage water seeping from above caused methane gas which would ignite because of the workers gas lamps.  The tunnel flooded numerous times and holes needed to be plugged from above by descending into the Thames in a diving bell.  The huge financial cost of tunnelling meant that work was suspended for seven years while funds were raised.  The Thames Tunnel was fitted with lights, a roadway and had spiral staircase entrances. The tunnel was finally opened to the public in March of 1843.   A triumph of civil engineering, the Thames Tunnel was a financial disaster. It had cost a fortune to build.  It was used only by pedestrians but it did became a major tourist attraction, attracting about two million people a year, each paying a penny to pass through.  It is now part of the London Overground Rail Operations system.  I will include close-ups of the lithographs smaller images so that you may appreciate the ingenuity and technology which was created and used to build the Thames Tunnel.  The lithograph is by #RudolphSchlicht (I have found little info regarding him) and all writing is in German.

Thames Tunnel 3

Thames Tunnel 3

 

Thames Tunnel 4

Thames Tunnel 4

ThamesTunnel 2

ThamesTunnel 2

Thames Tunnel 5

Thames Tunnel 5

Thames Tunnel 6

Thames Tunnel 6

Tames Tunnel 12

Tames Tunnel 12

Thames Tunnel 7

Thames Tunnel 7

Thames Tunnel 9

Thames Tunnel 9

Thames Tunnel 10

Thames Tunnel 10

Tames Tunnel 11

Tames Tunnel 11

 

 

Thames Tunnel 8

Thames Tunnel 8

 

 

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Art Prior

There is a twist in the title, of course, for today I wish to introduce you to etcher #ThomasAbielPrior.  He lived from 1809 to 1886 which means he worked with and for many of Britain’s greatest artists.  Always a talented artist himself, his love was for line etching.  He tried mezzotint but was not happy with the results and so he returned to line etching.

The Suspension Bridge  at Chelsea by T A Prior @ 1852

The Suspension Bridge at Chelsea etching by Thomas Abiel Prior @ 1852

I have three etchings done by Thomas Prior in my collection.  All three show a place just down the road from me.  We will begin with #TheSuspensionBridgeatChelsea done in 1852.  The bridge was initially named ‘ Victoria Bridge’ but although looking good the bridge was narrow and structurally questionable.  So to avoid any ‘royal’ ties to a possible bridge collapse the name was changed.  Initially, the bridge was a toll bridge but this proved to be unpopular with the public and was dropped.  On the far bank, we see the Royal Military Hospital.  I love the boats and barges on the river.  A lovely place to come and relax, picnic, rest and take the air.

The Tower of London etching by Thomas Abiel Prior after Edward Duncan @ 1851

The Tower of London etching by Thomas Abiel Prior after Edward Duncan @ 1851

If we sail down the Thames we will come across our next view. #TheTowerofLondon.  Another very fine piece.  It is no wonder that artists like JMW Turner and William Landseer liked to work with him.  If one looks closely at the ships on the right side , one will see several steamers in the harbour.  And if we sail even further, we will find ourselves passing our next vista.

London from Greenwich Park etching by Thomas Abiel Prior @ 1852

London from Greenwich Park etching by Thomas Abiel Prior @ 1852

And we look over Greenwich towards the Thames to finish our tour.  Popular with visitors ever since it was created, Greenwich Park overlooks London and we can see from this image the Royal Hospital.  A third and final etching by Thomas Prior which once again confirms his amazing talent.

And to finish, I would like to share with you an observation I have made.

Woman and Tambourine by Joseph Mallard William Turner

Woman and Tambourine by Joseph Mallard William Turner

While looking at the image #WomanwithTambourine by #JMWTurner, I realised that the etching I have is not one people would regularly see.  Most people will be familiar with the mezzotint image found in the Liber Studiorum but the line etching, I have, is not a copy of the Liber Studiorum image but is actually an etching of Turner’s original pen and wash drawing (held by the TateBritain).  There were several alterations to Turner’s  drawing when it was made into a mezzotint.  The line engraving I have does not contain those alterations.  Interesting considerations.

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Australia Art

We go further afield than two weeks back – close to half way around the world.  To the land down under – Australia – and two of it’s artists.  #LionelLindsay (1874 – 1961) and #NevilleCayley (1853 – 1903). Two artists who were contemporaries.

St Lesmos, Bergon, Spain by Lionel Lindsay @ 1926

St Lesmos, Bergon, Spain
by Lionel Lindsay @ 1926

We begin with Lionel Lindsay who was a member of a very artistic family.  He studied art but taught himself etching and engraving.  After travelling to Spain and England , he settled in Sydney and worked as a freelance artist and journalist.  He was popular at home as well as abroad.  It was Lindsay’s attraction to wood engraving that catapulted him to international renown. By the age of fifty-three, Lindsay had become, internationally, the most successful Australian printmaker of all time and his popularity continues today.  His works include portraits of  influential Australians, scenes of old Sydney, views of Spain , studies of birds and animals, scenes of Arab culture and images of a swag-man in the outback.  He was knighted in 1941 for his service to Australian art.

To avoid confusion we focus on artist Neville Henry Peniston Cayley the father of Neville William Cayley artist and ornithologist.  In fact both father and son had hopes of publishing a large folio size book of the birds of Australia but neither did.

Red-headed Finch and Blue Malurus by Neville Cayley @1898

Red-headed Finch and Blue Malurus
by Neville Cayley @1898

Neville Cayley Sr. was born in Dover, England and moved to Australia in 1882.  He was a meticulous and exact artist in his depiction of avian Australia.  His watercolours are attractive as well as descriptive.  He made his living as an artist by selling his work privately or at auction.

Native Companions  by Neville Cayley @ 1898

Native Companion
by Neville Cayley @ 1898

The two watercolours in my collection show a fight between a red-headed finch and a Blue Malurus (fairywren) and a pair of Brolga cranes (formerly known as the Native Companion).  They are fine examples of Cayley’s style. The titles of the paintings come from the reverse side of the paintings.

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Valentine Art

A couple of beautiful prints – actually book plates – that I acquired this past week lead to today’s focus.  A pair of images removed from a book.  A book called ‘The Quiver of Love – A Collection of Valentines Ancient and Modern’ by various authors published in 1876.  The book contains 8 lithographs 4 each by #WalterCrane (1845-1915) and #KateGreenaway (1846-1901).  I hope I have found the correct titles for them.

Venus and Cupid by Walter Crane from 'The Quiver of Love' 1876

Venus and Cupid
by Walter Crane from ‘The Quiver of Love’ 1876

Cherry-Ripe by Walter Crane from 'The Quiver of Love' 1876

Cherry-Ripe by Walter Crane from ‘The Quiver of Love’ 1876

Eight wonderfully coloured lithographs by a couple of the best artists of their time.  Both of these, I believe, are by Walter Crane.  The book was compiled of ‘love lyrics’ all capable of being used as ‘Valentines’ while the book itself was meant to be used as a gift book or as an indication of an even deeper regard.  The lyrics or poems spanned time from Shakespeare (ancient) to Coleridge (modern).  #TheQuiverofLove a book about love for lovers.

Certainly when it comes to #Valentines, the Victorian era was an high point.  It was a very romantic time and the giving of cards exploded greatly when the penny post began.  Valentines then like Christmas now was a time when the postal service became over-loaded and every year an appeal went out to post your cards early so they might not get delayed in the vast quantity of cards being sent.  I will let four cards in my collection speak for themselves.  #Paper-lace was a speciality  in Victorian times.  I hope you enjoy the supreme quality of the cards which were used to express their sentiments.

Valentine 1 - paper lace from Victorian era

Valentine 1 – paper lace from the Victorian era

Valentine 2 - paper lace from the Victorian era

Valentine 2 – paper lace from the Victorian era

 

Valentine 3 - paper lace from the Victorian era

Valentine 3 – paper lace from the Victorian era

Valentine 4 - paper lace from the Victorian era

Valentine 4 – paper lace from the Victorian era

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Travel via Art

Through the art I collect, I am able to travel the width and breadth of this country.  Art is able to take me to places I have been, to places I have not and at times to places that have never and will never exist.  Travelling both in time and space.

Harlech Castle, North Wales by Philip van Dyke Browne @ 1830

Harlech Castle, North Wales
by Philip van Dyke Browne @ 1830

We begin with a hop over to the coast of Wales and the magnificent Harlech Castle.  Harlech is considered to be one of “the finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe”, it is a ‘World Heritage Site’.  The fortification is built of local stone and its’ features include a massive gatehouse that probably once provided high-status accommodation for the castle constable and visiting dignitaries. The sea originally came much closer to Harlech than now-a-days, since it has a water-gate and a long flight of steps leading down from the castle to the former shore, which allowed the castle to be resupplied by sea during sieges.  Harlech has been painted by many great artists including JMW Turner, Paul Sandby, John Sell Cotman and David Cox.  The beautiful watercolour  to the left is by #PhilipvanDykeBrowne and is a view of #HarlechCastle from the north west possibly from the Tremadoc Road.  A little known artist of some talent.

Late Simmer Dale by Pat Mallinson

Late Simmer Dale
by Pat Mallinson

If we travel south down into the Malvern Hills we come across scenery like that on the right.  Rolling hills with farms dotted here and there.  A land for farming and the keeping of animals.  At times beautiful – at times harsh and unforgiving.  Or maybe I should take you closer to my home to an area that is hill-less. A place below sea level.

Norfolk Broads  by Maurice Barrett @ 1989

Norfolk Broads
by Maurice Barrett @ 1989

Out into the #NorfolkBroads.  A place that armies were unable to traverse.  Only the locals knew how to cross them without getting bogged down.  Or possibly we could take our chances out in the #Fens.  Mostly drained, today, to be used as farmland the Fens were impassible by outsiders.  The magnificent #ElyCathedral rises out of the fens. The ‘Ship of the Fens’.  A place of prayer, worship and service for hundreds of years.

Ely Cathedral by Hilda Cooper

Ely Cathedral by Hilda Cooper

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