Sunday, 9 June 2019

British Museum Robin de Beaumont collection - Prints, Provenance and Book Covers




@21072017; edited 09052019


Prints, Provenance and decorated book covers. 

Cataloguing The British Museum Robin de Beaumont Collection

Edmund M B King



                

BM, 1992,0406.147[1]                                        BM 1992,0406.147
                             
Introduction[2]
This essay is a small addition to the story of the collection donated by Robin de Beaumont to the British Museum in 1992. His gift of some 400 volumes, together with individual prints and woodblocks is commemorated in Paul Goldman’s book: Victorian illustrated books. The heyday of wood engraving, published in 1994.[3] In his essay for this work entitled Collector’s Progress, Robin de Beaumont provided a detailed account of how he made his collection; how he prized the condition of the books and their illustrations so highly. Additionally, Antony Griffiths recognised in his Preface that the Department of Prints and Drawings already had a significant resource of mid-Victorian illustration, having acquired the Dalziel (Brothers) guard books, which contained some 54,000 proof prints of their work for the years 1839-1893. Griffiths stated:
“But, despite having so many proofs for the illustrated books of the 1860s, the Department lacked the books themselves – and, as Mr de Beaumont explains, many of these editions are not to be found in the British Library, or, if there, are now in a poor condition after years of handling.”
I was inspired by the 1994 British Museum exhibition which accompanied this gift, to start a bibliography of the designs blocked onto the covers of Victorian books. Examining the de Beaumont books for the first time in the mid-1990s was like being in a sweet shop full of wonderful things. Compared to similar copies in the British Library, the condition of the paper, of the bindings and of the designs on them –all sparkled. It was possible to include a number of these books in my own bibliography of trade bindings, published in 2003.[4] A resolution to return and to catalogue the other books was formed.
However, the time available to undertake this task was lacking until I retired from the Library in 2012. I started work by converting all of the records in my 2003 bibliography, scanning all of the book covers, and placing these on the British Library Database of Bookbindings.[5] In the autumn of 2013, the work of cataloguing each of the British Museum de Beaumont books was started and has proceeded. Descriptions for each book and selected scans of the covers and of the illustrations, have been entered directly into the British Museum’s Merlin system, the records of which are made available via the British Museum online internet portal.[6] Names of authors, editors, artists, engravers, publishers, printers, booksellers, bookbinders, previous owners – all can be searched for. 
Soon after my cataloguing began, the long planned listing of the Dalziel Archive of proof copies was commenced, a process accompanied by photography of all of the proof plates. This project has been led by Dr. Bethan Stevens and George Mind of the University of Sussex.[7] Consequently, the cataloguing of the de Beaumont books, together with a limited number of scans of the engraved illustrations, offers a comparison between original Dalziel proof plates and their reproduction in books.

The primary impulse for the work has been to describe the designs on the covers. This meant scanning the book covers, and also to make digital copies of other items, such as binders’ tickets or bookseller tickets. It was acknowledged at the outset that there were far too many illustrations in each book to scan them all. So, it was agreed to scan the frontispiece of each book, where there is one. If there is not one, then an illustration from within the book would be scanned. Additionally, bookplates, or prize labels and bookbinder’s tickets (or stamps) have been scanned and made public. Another aim has been to capture the names of the illustrators and engravers cited in the books. There are very many of these, and recording them has slowed the work, but enriched the entries, as all of the names are searchable online. At the time of writing this essay, some three hundred books have been catalogued. What follows is a summary of the  information that is now available online via the British Museum portal Collections Online.

This essay is divided into three portions. Without knowing much at all about the prints of the mid-Victorian period at the start of the cataloguing work, my interest has been stimulated by close contact with them, so a portion is devoted to prints. The prints in the majority of the de Beaumont books are wood-engravings. A second feature is provenance: Robin de Beaumont’s eye for book labels, bookseller’s labels, bookplates of owners, prize labels, inscriptions – these are numerous, and provide evidence of those who wanted or gave these books, often at the time of their publication, as well as thereafter. The third part looks at the designs on the book covers, for these amplify work already undertaken at the British Library.

Prints




                                                    
                                                     BM 1992,0406.261
The period of 1850-1870 is now seen as the heyday of wood engravings, in illustrated books and periodicals. There are three hundred and twenty-nine artists cited in Section 3 of Robin de Beaumont’s catalogue.[8] The Dalziel Brothers[9] produced wood-engravings of many of these. The roll call of artists who worked for them is numerous: Millais, George du Maurier, Arthur Boyd Houghton, George John Pinwell, Frederick Pickersgill, John Tenniel, John Gilbert, Arthur Hughes, Charles Keene – these are just some of those whose fame has endured. However, there are many artists whose contemporary reputation has not stood the test of time. There is a ‘long tail’ of such artists, many of whom produced good illustrations for wood-engravings. 

To start with a couple of examples of the work of the well-known and prolific John Gilbert.[10]





BM 1992,0406.194
So far, some twenty books in the collection have illustrations after Gilbert, and three books feature illustrations by him alone. Gilbert’s illustration above in  The Salamandrine, Ingram, Cooke, 1853 p. 67.,  was accompanied by the verse:
‘ His Mother she prepares a feast
Great stores of venison and wine,
And foaming ale and rich conserves
That a thousand guests may dine:’

Another striking illustration is ‘The Skeleton in Armour’, reproduced on page 103 of Longfellow Poetical Works, Routledge 1857, a work for which Gilbert provided all the illustrations.

                                                BM, 1992,0406.181
This is  accompanied by the verse:
‘Speak! Speak! Thou fearful guest!
Who, with thy hollow heart
Still in rude armour drest
Comest thou to haunt me!’
It is an evocative illustration, possibly looking back to the figure of the Commendatore in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, and forward possibly to Darth Vader in the Star Wars films.

Of the work of artists less well known now, Myles Birket Foster is one of the artists whose contemporary fame has faded.[11] The Dalziel Brothers, George and Edward, praised him as: ‘one of England’s most popular landscape draughtsmen, and as painter in water colour of great distinction.’[12] Gleeson White, in his English Illustration, The Sixties 1855-1870, devotes over thirty citations of works illustrated by him.[13] Out of three hundred books catalogued to date, Birket Foster shared illustrations with other artists in forty books. He provided all of the illustrations for six books.[14] Foster’s illustration for the title page of Cowper’s The Task, Nisbet, 1855 is typical of his work.

                                                   BM, 1992,0406.71
Foster provided all the illustrations for this work . It was quite common to have an engraving on the title page, and in this example, the landscape fits with the text, not dominating it.[15]

                                                 BM, 1992,0406.358

Foster’s illustration on page 12 of  Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Bell & Daldy, 1860, shows a ‘grotto’ scene, ‘before the cell of Prospero’. [16] Illustration and verse, in this example, are combined on the same page.[17]

One of the few women artists of this period was Jane E. Benham, a friend of Anna Mary Howitt.[18] She shared illustrations in four books, with Birket Foster. All were published by David Bogue, and all illustrated poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was hugely popular at this time.[19] Longfellow. Poetical works, Bogue, 1856, p. 104, shows her illustration to the poem ‘Twilight’.



           
BM,1992,0406.180
Verse one of the poem reads:
‘The twilight is sad and cloudy, The wind blows wild and free,
And like wings of sea-birds
Flash the white caps of the sea.’
Benham’s monogram ‘JEB’ is printed on the right hand corner.[20]
The work of Mary Ellen Edwards is represented within ten books in the de Beaumont collection, all published between 1864 and 1867. [21] these were published by six different publishers; four of  the ten being published by Cassell. 

                                                BM, 1996,1104.33
For one work, Family Fairy Tales, John Camden Hotten, 1865, she alone provided the five illustrations, which were engraved by Horace Harral.[22]  We see a comfortable, middle class interior, with the family gathered together.


    







                                     
BM 1992,0406.20
In sharp contrast is her illustration for page 177 of The Illustrated Book of Sacred Poems. A portrait of social realism, here we see a mother comforting (or suckling) her baby, in bleak surroundings, with little light from the garret window, with the verses echoing the poverty of the situation for the young mother.[23]
The two verses of ‘Work and Rest’ are:
‘Home! Is this home, where she sits so cold and lonely,
Working, still working, from morning till night?
Life! Is this life, which is pain and pain only –
Only dark shadows, not one gleam of light?’

Pale, haggard cheeks, frozen, comfortless fingers;
Eyes wild with watching, head yearning for rest.
Working, still working, each moment she lingers
Takes bread from the baby she warms at her breast.’

Edwards’s initials are just underneath the end of the table cloth on the left hand side. Details of the life and work of Mary Ellen Edwards are available in Simon Cooke’s article in the Victorian web.[24] He notes: ‘…her real strength lay in her illustrations of the 1860s. Her images in black and white were distanced from the conventional imagery of her paintings, and while some of her illustrations are ‘feminine’ in the gender-marked terms of meaning purely ‘sentimental’ or ‘domestic’, most of her engravings on wood combine a hard-headed appreciation of the mores of contemporary society with an intense awareness of psychological complexity and the ramifications of difficult situations. These apparently masculine qualities equipped her as the illustrator of the most unsentimental of writers.’

EVB: Illustration courtesy of National Portrait Gallery.[25] 

Both Mary Ellen Edwards and Eleanor Vere Boyle lived to be over ninety. The former became well known for her illustrations to Trollope’s novel The Claverings, published first in serial form in the Cornhill Magazine.[26] Of Boyle's work, Goldman wrote: ‘EVB illustrated at least two works alone – Tennyson’s The May Queen 1861, and her own Child’s Play [1852] – and both provide convincing evidence that she was an artist of genuine originality.’[27] [28]




                                                    BM 1992,0406.151
Excluding second editions, the de Beaumont collection has six works that include Boyle’s  illustrations, of which two have illustrations by her only.[29] The frontispiece, above, for The Magic Valley show the full use of the landscape head to tail, drawing the eye into the Dram handing over the key.









                                            BM, 1992,0406.105

The two illustrations by Boyle, accompanying the poem, The May Queen, on pages 352 and 353 of Favourite English Poems provides the opportunity for the artist to offer us both interior and exterior views – the one of the girl looking out to the work beyond a room in a cottage, the other showing the young would be lover looking from the garden wall, whose head is turned away from the cottage to look at the young girl walking away from him. The interior of the cottage room and the spinning wheel are particularly finely drawn, even if the expressions on the faces of the two young women seem somewhat flat. Verses are printed on the same page as both illustrations.
  




                                                BM, 1992,0406.109
Philip Hermogenes Calderon, RA was a painter who became Keeper of the Royal Academy.[30] He is represented in but one work in the de Beaumont collection, Margaret Gatty’s Parables from Nature, both the 1861 and 1865 editions. Here we are looking at the title page and frontispiece of the 1861 edition, with the illuminated capital letters of the title, and the centred device of Bell & Daldy. Calderon is cited on the title page with several other artists.[31] The frontispiece is not a memorable image, but conveys the tone of the book well enough.


                                                    BM, 1992,0406.240

Henry Courtney Selous was a pupil of John Martin; he mainly painted historical pieces.[32] He is represented in the de Beaumont collection in seven books. In his illustrations for Our Life Illustrated by Pen and Pencil, Religious Tract Society, 1865, Selous conveys the sense of drama of the verses, with both David on the left hand page, and Nebuchadnezzar on the right, both declaiming their messages in suitably commanding poses.[33]










                                                BM, 1992,0406.271

Selous’s illustration for the frontispiece of the Parable of the Prodigal Son, shows a tableau of the family, finely drawn, conveying a sense of calm before the events to come. Selous provided all the illustrations for this work.[3]



                                                                  BM,1992,0406.263

He composed two similar scenes for battles. The illustration above: ‘Battle of Flodden Field’  is in Poems and pictures: a collection of Ballads, Songs, and other Poems, Sampson Low, 1860, p.71.[35]


     
         BM,1992,0406.20

The illustration above shows a scene of the flight of the Israelites,  pursued by Pharaoh’s army, and is captioned : ‘Pi-Hahiroth’. Here, we see a military force (i.e. the soldiers of Pharaoh’s army) being overwhelmed by the Red Sea. It is in Baynes, Robert Hall. The Illustrated Book of Sacred Poems, Cassell, 1867.[36] You can see Selous’s monogram at the base of the oval containing the capital letter “H”.


Labels – booksellers, prize,  private ownership, inscriptions

Booksellers Labels in books





Bookseller’s labels are numerous in the collection.[37] There is quite a geographical spread of premises, from Glasgow to Brighton. One book, Thomas James, Aesop’s Fables: John Murray, 1848, has two bookseller’s labels – which are W. Prichard of Carnarvon; and that of Wm George’s Sons, Bristol.[38]






One example is notable. Wilhelm Hey’s  Picture fables, Routledge, 1858 has the label of Miller’s Fancy Repository, of 32 Lowndes Street, Belgrave Square. Books were but some of the many objects they sold. [39]
Prize labels
Many of the books in the collection have prize labels. Mostly these relate to attainments in school or in religious classes. Some of the labels are part printed, with the awardee’s name and details of the nature of the award being filled in by hand.








BM, 1992,0406.4

Above, the School prize label reads: "/ Young Ladies/ Seminary/ Dowanhill./ Glasgow./ Presented/ to/ Miss Mary Gray/ Third Prize III class/ for/ English/ by/ Geo. A. Panton/ May 29th 1867./" It is in: John and Anna Atkin’s Evenings at Home, Warne 1867.[40] The binding is mostly blocked in blind, implying a price of perhaps 3/6 or 4/6. The book and the label bear the same year, 1867.














                                                          BM, 1992,0406.62
The label above is entirely handwritten, and is the only one so far found in the collection. It reads: “/ Testimonial of High Merit/ (Grade 15th)/ awarded to/ Walter Barron/ Aged 14/ Bruce Castle, Christmas/ 1865./” It is within: Cervantes. Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha. Illustrations by A. B. Houghton , Warne, 1866.[41]  The date of the award of Christmas 1865 is evidence that the book was already available, despite the date on the title page being 1866. The cover design is of an ornate ‘Moorish’ design.




BM,1992,0406.74
This label, reads: “/ The Collegiate School [in Gothic lettering]./ Newark-upon-Trent/ [rule]/ Class prize/ awarded to/ Master George A Matterson/ for Arithmetic & English/ according/ to result of final Examination held 10 December 1880/ J. Burt, Principal./” The label is within: Days of old . Three stories from old English history, Macmillan, 1859.[42] It is interesting to see the book used in this way, in 1880, eleven years after its publication. The binding is of half leather, possibly costing between 7/6 to 10/6.




                                                     BM, 1992,0406.384

The School prize label: : “/ Bank House School/ Keighley June 1869/ Prize/ awarded to/ Fred[eric]k Laude/ for/ Mechanical Drawing/ & general good conduct/ W H. Jackson/ Principal/”. This label has ornate coloured borders and letters pre-printed by Smallman, London. It is within a copy of John Tillotson, John. Our Untitled Nobility. James Hogg, [1863].[43] There is a ‘tracery’ design blocked in gold on the upper cover and the spine.












                                                   BM, 1992,0406.115
Above,, the label reads: “/ Mount Zion/ School for Men,/ Horseley Fields, Wolverhampton./ Officers Class/ Annual Prize/ Awarded to F Kandley/ For Regular Attendance./ Price Lewis, Superintendent/ R. Franklin, Secretary./ March 26th, 1894./”. It is within a copy of: Goldsmith, Oliver. Dalziel’s Illustrated Goldsmith. Ward & Lock, 1865.[44] Nearly thirty years after its publication, the book was used as a prize of Regular Attendance. The binding is full gilt on the spine and upper cover, so this may have retailed in the 1860s at a purchase price of 10s/6d.





  
                                                   BM, 1992,0406.29
The ornately bordered label of: “/ South Hampstead Collegiate School 120, Belsize Park Gardens, Haverstock Hill, London, N. W.  – is inscribed in the oval frame: “/ Prize Arithmetic/ 3rd class/ W. G. Frazer 1877./”  It is in a copy of  Anne Bowman. The boy pilgrim, Routledge, 1870.[45] This may be a bespoke binding,  as there is the gilt stamp of the South Hampstead Collegiate School blocked on the  upper cover. Although such blocking of the awarding organisation on a full leather binding may have been common at the time, this is the only example in this collection.





                                                       BM, 1992,0406.128

In the collection, there is one example of ownership that is neither a prize nor a book plate. The ownership stamp of Henry Hoare: “/ H. Hoare, F. S. Sc./ [rule]/ 119, Abbeyville Rd./ Southwark Park, S.L. [i.e. South London?]/ Elocutionist/”.[46]  His initials “H. H.” are tooled onto the spine of the book, at the tail. This binding is ordinary in a half morocco case, and it is possible that it was made for him. 


Bookplates 






                                                     BM,1992,0406.94 




                                                          BM,1992,0406.70
Moving on to bookplates, there are a number relating to the Dalziel family.  Above is that of Edward Dalziel[47]   - Below is John Dalziel.[48] 








BM, 1992,0406.104                 BM, 1992,0406.157       BM, 1992,0406.124
Bookplates with coats of arms. on the left that of Charles R. Robinson, together with a later one of W R H Jeudwine.[49] In the centre, there is the bookplate of Francis Gray Smart.[50]   On the right is the bookplate of William Gibson Reeves.[51]





            BM, 1992,0406.302                BM, 1992,0406.78a   BM, 1992,0406.295

These bookplates employ a variety of motifs, loosely labelled as ‘emblematic’. Above left, we see the bookplate of Gleeson White, the art critic and author.[52] Above middle is the bookplate of Vivian de Sola Pinto, poet and literary critic, authority of the work of D H Lawrence.[53] Above right, there is the bookplate of
Frederick H. Evans, photographer, in a copy of proof plates for Houghton’s Illustrations to Don Quixote. [54]

Inscriptions
There are over one hundred inscriptions in the collection. They group themselves in to broad categories: educational, author dedication, family of author, a well-known name, a private owner’s name, dedication to family members.



 
                                                   BM, 1992,0406.342
Families of all kinds gave books to their children. There is James Kaye’s gift of the 1862, first edition of Goblin Market, to Alice V. Kaye – possibly his daughter. Two other members of the Kaye family, Ethel and Gertrude also owned and read the poems.[55]



                                                         BM, 1992,0406.336
The inscribed gift of the Nursery Times in August 1867, to Margaret Mitford Amherst was from her mother, Margaret Susan, daughter of Admiral Robert Mitford, of Hunmanby Hall, co. York.  Margaret Susan was married to  William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney, a notable book collector.[56]








                                                  BM, 1992,0406.35


Gifts of books to members of publishing families are recorded. A fine copy of Robert Buchanan’s North Coast and other poems, 1868, was given to Gordon Dalziel by his Uncles, the Dalziel Brothers.[57






                                               BM,1992,0406.156
The Dalziel Brothers gifted a copy of Lays of the Holy Land to Mrs. Frederick Warne [i.e. Louisa Jane Warne, neé, Fruing] , a copy bound in full morocco by Edmonds and Remnants.[58]


Book covers and bookbinders






In looking at book covers and their designs, the matter of who bound the books is of interest. Robin de Beaumont carried out much work on this, as he was keen to follow up on Douglas Ball’s List of Binder’s Signatures, published as part of his Victorian Publishers’ Bindings.[59] De Beaumont compiled his own list of binders’ tickets within the books.[60] In giving me a copy of this list in 2001, he noted: ‘Of course they [the binders’ tickets] ought to be scanned in colour.’ This is a matter now attended to, for a colour scan of each of the binders’ tickets has been made and placed adjacent to the online descriptive entry for each book. The binders’ tickets listed are mainly those of the large London premises: Bone & son, Burn, Leighton, Son & Hodge, Edmonds & Remnants/ Remnants & Edmonds, Westley. The main interest here lies in the number of variant tickets printed and used by each bookbinder. You can search for these via the British Museum online collection search.[61] There are also many more of these to be found on the British Library Database of Bookbindings.[62]

Cataloguing the cover designs of the books in the de Beaumont collection complements descriptions done for the British Library database of Bookbindings. Some of these book covers were shown in my talk of 2015 to the Bibliographical  Society and subsequently published in the British Library electronic journal.[63] There are a number of books in the de Beaumont collection for which there are details of price. These are frequently within lists of publisher’s titles, either bound at the end of the book[64], or in another book issued by the same publisher.






             BM, 1992,0406.152                                           BM,1992,0406.164


Above, Keats’s Eve of St. Agnes, Sampson Low, 1856, was published at a price of 7s. 6d.[65] There was the same price as for Mark Lemon. Tinykins transformations, Bradbury Evans & Co., 1869.[66]









                                                        BM, 1992,0406.20
Above, Robert Hall Baynes, was the Editor of The Illustrated Book of Sacred Poems, Cassell, 1867, issued at a price of 7s. 6d. The advertisement in the paper bound edition, states that the ‘full gilt’ binding cost 10s. 6d. [67]










                                               BM,1992,0406.145
Douglas Jerrold. Mrs Caudle’s curtain lectures, Bradbury, Evans & Co., 1866, was issued at 10s. 6d.[68] The cover design is by John Leighton, and this copy was bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.  Robin de Beaumont has noted that this copy is the first issue of the first edition. A (probably later) issue with the same date, was bound by Edmonds & Remnants, using the same cover design. This implies that the brass blocks were shared between two binders; or, that the cases were made up in one bindery, with the brasses (the same or additional ones), plus extra copies of the sheets being passed to another binder.






                                               BM,1992,0406.259
It has been possible to ascertain  the price of some books issued for one guinea. Above is Pictures of English landscape, Routledge, 1863. This has a design by Owen Jones.  It was sold for one guinea.[69]




                                                 BM,1992,0406.371
Tennyson’s, Enoch Arden, Edward Moxon, 1866, has a cover design is after Arthur Hughes and the book was priced at 21s. This copy has brown honeycomb-grain cloth.[70] In the de Beaumont collection, there is additionally an Album of 25 proof plates after Hughes pasted on backing sheets. This may possibly be a specimen book. It has the same cover design as for the published copy.[71] There are two copies of Enoch Arden in the British Library.[72]




                                               
BM 1992,0406.395
The Dalziel Fine Art Gift book, Wayside Poesies, published by Routledge in 1867, was also priced at one guinea.[73]






                                                 BM 1992,0406.230
Works of popular authors were issued by different publishers quite quickly one after another. For example, there are two copies of Moore. Lallah Rookh in the collection. Above is the Routledge edition of 1860, with a design possibly by Albert Henry Warren.[74] The illustrations were after various artists, all engraved by Edmund Evans. 






                                                  BM, 1992,0406.231
The Longman edition of 1861, has illustrations after John Tenniel.[75] Both books have binder’s tickets of Leighton, Son & Hodge. The Routledge copy is bound in blue morocco vertical-grain cloth, and the Longman copy is bound in purple coarse pebble-grain cloth.





                                                   BM,1992,0406.25

It seems likely that books with such dense ornamentation in gold were sold for a guinea each.  Full blocking on both covers probably indicates an early issue.  Above is the Book of Job, Nisbet, 1857, which has a design influenced by Islamic patterns. [76] Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.









                                                         BM,1992,0406.300

The Proverbs of Solomon, Nisbet, 1858, has a ‘Renaissance’ oval central panel, held in place by ‘clasps’.[77] Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.






                                                    BM,1992,0406.185

Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha, W. Kent & Co., 1860, above, has design featuring central oval panels with on lays and  multiple border medallions.[78] Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.









                                                   BM,1992,0406.48

The elaborate design for  Byron. Childe Harold, John Murray, 1859, shows gilt ‘dentelle’ borders, with the straps on the corners of the central diamond. These   hint at eighteenth century tooling patterns.[79] This book was bound by Edmonds & Remnants.






                                                 BM,1992,0406.32

The collection contains some humorous books, such as Oliver Ormewood’s account, written in Lancashire dialect, of the visit of the ‘Rachde Felley’ to the Greyt Eggshibshun (Great Exhibition) of 1851.[80] The price of sixpence indicated the publisher’s desire for large sales.

Conclusion

The three strands of this essay: Prints, Provenance, and Book Covers – all offer a view of the many avenues for research into the de Beaumont collection. The recording of individual prints, of their artists and of their engravers, together with the details of previous owners has been one of the most rewarding aspects of exploring the collection. The cover designs speak for themselves, being such a strong instrument for attracting they eye of the purchaser.

The artists mentioned in this essay are but a few of those represented in the de Beaumont collection. They form part of the ‘long tail’ of artists, their work and contemporary reputations eclipsed by time. In their favour was the decision of the publishers, the printer, or the engraving companies (such as Dalziel Brothers), to employ them. (They would not have been employed if their work was not of an acceptable standard.) Together, they created work intended to sell books. The book illustration work was frequently but a small part of lives spent in pursuit of wider artistic endeavour. Moreover,  illustrations for periodicals (and probably for more expensive books) paid reasonably well.[81]  Whilst the ‘lesser’ artists have not achieved the eminence of a Rossetti, a Millais, a Hughes, a Houghton or a Pinwell, they nevertheless enrich the landscape of Victorian book illustration.

Above all, the Robin de Beaumont collection is a testimony to his energy, and his connoisseurship, exercised over many years. He tirelessly pursued the best copy he could find, and had a discerning eye for interesting provenance. In bringing some of these aspects into the online environment, it is hoped that his skills as a collector and knowledgeable researcher will be yet more widely admired.

Edmund M B King

St Albans    2019




[1] All images in the paper are © Copyright the Trustees of the British Museum.
[2] I am grateful to Sheila O’Connell, Curator of British Prints, British Museum, for reading this paper, and for making suggestions for its improvement.
[3] Goldman, Paul. Victorian Illustrated Books 1850-1870. The heyday of wood-engraving. The Robin de Beaumont Collection. London, British Museum Press, 1994. Checklist of the de Beaumont Collection, nos. 1-592, pp.126-142.
[4] King, Edmund M. B.  Victorian decorated trade bindings 1830-1880. London: The British Library, 2003.
[5] The database is online at:  http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/    Entering my name   Edmund M B King   in the home page search box returns all of the records entered by myself.
[6] A useful summary of the Merlin system was presented by Tanya Szrajber to the 2008 Annual Conference of CIDOC. See: http://network.icom.museum/fileadmin/user_upload/minisites/cidoc/ConferencePapers/2008/82_papers.pdf       (visited 6.12.2016)
[7] Details of the work at: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/english/dalziel/the-project/ (visited 12.2.2017)
[8] Robin De Beaumont Collection. 1860s Illustrators. Books, Drawings & Proofs. Combined 1992 & 1996 Gifts. March 2000. Section 3: Schedule of Artist Publications & Illustrations.  [Unpublished.] My work of descriptive cataloguing this collection is a continuation of de Beaumont’s work of the 1990s, and has sought to draw out as many elements of each book as possible, to place the results online. https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx (visited 24.5.2019)
[9] The ODNB article on the Dalziel family provides background to their work.
[10] An example of Gilbert’s stamina is the Staunton edited Works of William Shakespeare, Routledge 1881. Gilbert provided all of the illustrations, engraved by the Brothers Dalziel, and he made and signed  a large illustration for the upper cover centrepiece. The British Library copy is at shelf mark 11765.g.5. See: http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/LargeImage.aspx?RecordId=020-000023809&ImageId=ImageId=60378&Copyright=BL (Visited 10.12.2016)
[12] Dalziel, George & Dalziel, Edward. The Brothers Dalziel. A record of their Work 1840-1890. London: B. T. Batsford, 1978, p. 138.
[13] Gleeson White.  English Illustration, The Sixties 1855-1870. pp.101 ff.
[14] These five are: 1992,0406.71 Cowper. The Task; 1992,0406,104 Falconer. The Shipwreck; 1992,0406.116. Goldsmith. The Traveller; 1992,0406,119 The Sabbath; 1992,0406.178 Kavanagh.
[15] 1992,0406.71. Cowper. The Task, 1855. Title page.
[16] 1992,0406.358 Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Illustrated by Birket Foster, Gustave Dore, Frederick Skill, Alfred Slader, and Gustave Janet. [Device of Bell & Daldy.] London: Bell & Daldy, 186, Fleet, Street, 1860.
[17] As, for example in 1992,0406.24 The Farmer’s Boy, 1857.
[18] Her married name was Jane Benham Hay. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Benham_Hay (visited 12.12.2016)
[19] The four books with illustrations by Benham are: 1992,0406.176 Longfellow. Evangeline, Bogue 1854. [Another copy is at 1996,1104.24, Bogue, 1850]; 1992,0406,177 Longfellow. The Golden Legend, Bogue, 1854; 1992,0406.179 Longfellow. Poems, Bogue, 1852; 1992,0406.180 Longfellow. The Poetical Works, Bogue 1856. She is cited as providing the tail-pieces for  1992,0406.336 Rhymes and Roundelayes in praise of a Country Life, Bogue, 1857
[20] 1992,0406.180 op. cit.
[21] Eight of these ten books are: 1996,1104.33 Pennell. Family Fairy Tales. Hotten, 1864; 1992,0406.20 Baynes, Robert Hall. The Illustrated Book of Sacred Poems, Cassell, 1867; 1992,0406.106 Foxe, John.  The Booke of Martyrs, Cassell, 1866; 1992,0406.110 Gatty, Margaret. Parables from nature, Bell & Daldy, 1865; 1992,0406.128  Hood, Tom. [Editor.] Cassell’s Penny Readings, Cassell, 1867; 1992,0406.136 Idyllic pictures, Cassell 1867; 1992,0406.261 Pictures of Society. Grave and Gay, Sampson Low, 1866; 1992,0406.270 Proctor, Adelaide Anne. Legends and lyrics, Bell & Daldy 1866.
[22] 1996,1104.33 op.cit.
[23] 1992,0406.20 op. cit.
[24] Cooke, Simon.   Mary Ellen Edwards and Illustration of the 1860s.
[25] The portrait belongs to the National Portrait Gallery. See: http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw43162/Eleanor-Vere-Boyle-ne-Gordon?LinkID=mp51598&role=sit&rNo=1 (visited 10.2.2017); for more information on Boyle, see:
[26] Published from February 1866 to May 1867. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Claverings (visited 10.2.2017)
[27] Goldman, Paul. Victorian Illustrated Books 1850-1870. The heyday of wood-engraving. The Robin de Beaumont Collection. London, British Museum Press, 1994, p.87.
[28] Child’s Play. ‘Boyle’s first book. Text taken from an old copy of Halliwell’s Nursery Rhymes’ See:
[29] These six are (in P&D register no. order): 1992,0406.30 Child’s Play, Addey 1852; 1992,0406.105 Favourite English Poems, Sampson Low, 1862; 1992, 0406.151 The Magic Valley, Macmillan, 1877; 1992,0406.373 The May Queen, Sampson Low, 1862; 1996,1104.13 Early English Poems, Sampson Low, 1863; 1996,1104.18 Gray. Elegy in a Conutry Churchyard, Cundall, 1854. 
[30] For details, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Hermogenes_Calderon (visited 12.2.2017)
[31] 1992,0406.109. Gatty, Margaret. Parables from nature, Bell & Daldy, 1861. The other artists were: C.W.Cope, R.A. [i.e. Charles West Cope], W. Holman Hunt [i.e. William Holman Hunt], Otto Speckter, G.Thomas [i.e. possibly George Houseman Thomas] and E. Warren, Lorenz Frölich, W. B. Scott [i.e. William Bell Scott], E. B. Jones [i.e. probably Edward Burne-Jones], Harrison Weir [i.e. Harrison William Weir], John Tenniel, Joseph Wolf, W. P. Burton [i.e. William Paton Burton], M.E. Edwards [i.e. Mary Ellen Edwards], and Charles Keene.
[33] 1992,0406.240 Our Life Illustrated by Pen and Pencil, Religious Tract Society, 1865, pp 162-163.
[34] 1992,0406.271 Parable of the Prodigal Son, Nisbet, 1867, opp. p.3.
[35] 1992,0406.263. Poems and pictures: a collection of Ballads, Songs, and other Poems, Sampson Low, 1860, p.71.
[36] 1992,0406.20 Baynes, Robert Hall. The Illustrated Book of Sacred Poems, Cassell, 1867, p. 133.
[37] There are over twenty booksellers labels in books, out of nearly 280 books catalogued.
[38] The labels shown are within the following books [bookseller name and P&D register nos.]: Smythe & Co., Liverpool – 1992,0406.1; David Bryce & Co., Glasgow – 1992,0406.4;  H. Gaskarth, Bradford – 1996,1104.13; J. Gale, Chatham – 1996,1104.17; T & M Kennard, Leamington Spa – 1992,0406.42; G. G. Walmsley, Liverpool – 1996,1104.2; H. & C. Treacher, Brighton – 1992,0406.158; U. B. Mattocks, Colchester – 1992,0406.184; A. Farr, Swaffham – 1992,0406.236; W. Pritchard, Carnarvon – 1992,0406.144; Wm George’s, Bristol – 1992,0406.144; Henry Hollobone & Co., London – 1992,0406.153; S. & T. Gilbert, London - 1992,0406.10 and 1992,0406,363; Harrison, London – 1992,0406.257; C. H. Bensberg, London – 1992,0406. 23; Mann Nephews, London – 1992,0406. 352.
[39] 1992,0406.126. Hey,Wilhelm. Picture fables, Routledge, 1558. Miller’s Toy and Fancy  Repository: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O26440/blocks-millers-toy-fancy/ (visited 15.07.2017)
[40] 1992,0406.4. Atkin. Evenings at Home, Warne 1867.    School prize label on upper pastedown: "/ Young Ladies/ Seminary/ Dowanhill./ Glasgow./ Presented/ to/ Miss Mary Gray/ Third Prize III class/ for/ English/ by/ Geo. A. Panton/ May 29th 1867./"
[41] 1992,0406.62. Cervantes. Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha. Illustrations by A. B. Houghton, Warne, 1866.
[42] 1992,0406.74. Days of old. Three stories from old English history, Macmillan, 1859.
[43] 1992,0406.384. Tillotson, John. Our Untitled Nobility. James Hogg, [1863].
[44] 1992,0406.115. Goldsmith, Oliver. Dalziel’s Illustrated Goldsmith. Ward & Lock, 1865.
[45] 1992,0406.29. Bowman. The boy pilgrim, Routledge, 1870.
[46] 1992, 0406.128.  Hood, Tom. [Editor.] Cassell’s Penny Readings, Cassell, 1867.
[47] 1992,0406.194. Bookplate of Edward Daziel. In: Mackay, Charles. The Salamandrine. Ingram, Cooke, and Co., 1853.
[48] 1992,0406.70. Bookplate of John Dalziel. In: Cornwall, Barry. Dramatic scenes and other poems, Chapman and Hall, 1857.
[49] 1992,0406.104.   Charles R. Robinson and Wynne Rice Hugh Jeudwine.   In: Falconer, William. The shipwreck. A poem. Adam and Charles Black,1858. Details of Jeudwine at: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=119739 (visited 19.2.2017)
[50] 1992,0406.157.  Francis Gray Smart. In:  Lays of the Holy Land. James Nisbet and Co., 1858
[51] 1992,0406.124. Richard Gibson Reeves.  In: Hall, Samuel Carter. The Book of British Ballads. Jeremiah How, 1844.
[52] 1992,0406.302. Gleeson White. In:  Rands, William Brighty. Lilliput lectures. Strahan & Co., 1871. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Gleeson_White (visited 19.2.2017.)
[53] 1992,0406.78a. Vivian de Sola Pinto. In: Defoe, Daniel. History of the Plague of London. Thomas Murby, Simpkin, Marshall & Co, [1865?]. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vivian_de_Sola_Pinto (visited 19.2.2017)
[54] 1992,0406.295. Frederick H. Evans. Houghton’s Illustrations to Don Quixote. [London: Dalziel Brothers, 1866.]. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_H._Evans (visited 19.2.2017)
[55] 1992,0406.342. Kaye family inscriptions. In: Goblin Market, 1862.
[56] 1992,0406.236. Margaret Mitford Tyssen Amherst of Hunmanby Hall. In: Nursery Times, 1867. William Amherst Tyssen-Amherst (1835-1909), 1st Baron Amherst of Hackney. See: http://landedfamilies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/122-tyssen-amherst-later-cecil-of.html (vsited 23.3.2017); and see: http://landedfamilies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/122-tyssen-amherst-later-cecil-of.html (visited 23.3.2017.)
[57]  1992,0406.35. Buchanan, Robert William. North coast and other poems, 1868
[58] 1992,0406.156. Mrs. Frederick Warne from the Dalziel Borthers. In: Lays of the Holy Land, Nisbet, 1858.
[59] Ball, Douglas. Victorian publishers’ bindings. London, Library Association, 1985, Appendix E, Nineteenth Century Edition Binders’ Signatures, pp. 176-192.
[60] Robin de Beaumont. Binders’ Tickets in the Robin de Beaumont Collection of 1860s Illustrators Books, British Museum Prints & Drawings. Based on the listings found in Douglas Ball Victorian Publishers’ Bindings The Library Association 1985, Appendix E. [Unpublished: colophon has: ‘Robin de Beaumont, Chelsea, August 2001’.] One hundred and ninety one tickets are noted in this list.
[61] https://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/search.aspx  A search on:  bookbinder ticket de Beaumont     yields twenty-six results. (visited 15.2.2017)
[62]  http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/   A search on:  Binders ticket 19c     yields over three hundred and twenty results (visited 17.2.2017)
[63] Illustrations and details of the many book covers mentioned in 2015 are available at: http://www.bl.uk/eblj/2016articles/article2.html (visited 22.022017.)
[64] Normally, the publisher’s titles would be bound into a later issue, or a later edition of the first edition.
[65] 1992,0406.152.  Keats. Eve of St. Agnes, Sampson Low, 1856. 7s. 6d.
[66] 1992,0406.164.  Mark Lemon. Tinykins transformations, Bradbury Evans & Co., 1869. 7s. 6d.   This has a cover design by John Leighton.
[67] 1992,0406.20 Baynes, Robert Hall. Sacred Poems, Cassell, 1867. 7s. 6d. The upper cover of part XI of the British Library copy at shelf mark 11651k3 (which is  bound with parts in blue paper covers)  advertises the ‘Complete volume of Cassell’s Illustrated Book of Sacred Poems’: “…published at 7s.6d. cloth gilt, 10s 6d. full gilt cloth, and at 21s full morocco antique. It will form one of the most beautiful gift books of the forthcoming season.” See: https://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/LargeImage.aspx?RecordId=020-000018710&ImageId=ImageId=57252&Copyright=BL (Visited 31.5.2019) 
[68] 1992,0406.145 Mrs Caudle’s curtain lectures, Bradbury, Evans & Co., 1866. 10s. 6d.  In the publisher’s titles bound at the end of Douglas Jerrold, The Story of a Feather (1992.0406,147), this work is advertised as: “Handsomely bound, price 10s. 6d.” The British Library copy at shelf mark C.109.c.11 has the same design on a full leather binding, probably priced at one guinea. See: https://www.bl.uk/catalogues/bookbindings/LargeImage.aspx?RecordId=020-000002724&ImageId=ImageId=40967&Copyright=BL (visited 31.5.2019)
[69] 1992,0406.259. Pictures of English landscape, Routledge, 1863. Binding design after Owen Jones.   The advert at the end of The Golden Harp, Routledge, 1864 [1992,0406.94], [which describes this copy as:] ‘superb binding, designed by Owen Jones – One Guinea’.
[70] 1992,0406.371. Tennyson, Enoch Arden, Edward Moxon, 1866. Printed on the title page verso: “The illustrations and cover from drawings by Arthur Hughes.” On page four of the list of books published by Edward Moxon bound in at the end, this work is described as: “ In foolscap 4to, elegantly printed and bound price 21s.”
[71] 1992,0406.296. [Enoch Arden. No imprint or date.] Album of 25 plates pasted on backing sheets. [A specimen book?] Robin de Beaumont’s notes state: ‘25 proof engravings of Arthur Hughes’s illustrations to Tennyson’s ‘Enoch Arden’, Moxon 1866. In the 1866 publisher’s binding.’
[73] 1992, 0406.395. Buchanan, Robert. Wayside poesies: original poems of the country life, 1867. Printed on the title page verso: ‘Dalziel’s Fine Art Gift Book 1867’. In North coast and other poems (British Library shelf mark 11651.g.13.), the binding design is described in the publisher’s titles as a: “Superb binding [in cloth], designed by Albert Warren, One Guinea; or, Morocco elegant and antique, Thirty-six shillings.”
[74] 1992,0406.230. Moore. Lallah Rookh, Routledge, 1860. Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.
[75] 1992,0406.231. Moore, Lallah Rookh, Longman, 1861. Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.
[76] 1992,0406.25. Book of Job, Nisbet, 1857. Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge
[77] 1992,0406.300. Proverbs of Solomon, Nisbet, 1858. Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.
[78] 1992,0406.185. Longfellow. Song of Hiawatha, W. Kent & Co., 1860. Bound by Leighton, Son & Hodge.
[79] 1992,0406.48 Byron. Childe Harold, John Murray, 1859. Bound by Edmonds & Remnants.
[80] Ormewood, Oliver. O Ful, Tru, un Pertikler Okeawnt o bwoth wat aw seed un wat aw yerd, we gooin too the Greyt Eggshibishun e Lundun. Third edishun. [In the Lancashire Dialect.] Rachde: Printed bee Wrigley un Son; sowd by Hamilton, Adams un Ko, Un routledge un o., Lundun; Abel Heywood, Un Kelley un Slater, Manchesstur; G. Philip un son, Liverpule, [1856].
[81] For a discussion of the relationships between publisher(s) and the artist, see: Cooke, Simon. Illustrated periodicals of the 1860s, contexts and collaborations, 2010, pp. 50-54.



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