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Most if not all of the prints in this section came indirectly from the archives of The Print Society.  Most are still in their original card folders. 

Described as 'an international society of printmakers and collectors', the Print Society was formed by E. Hesketh Hubbard, printmaker, artist, journalist, author and art entrepreneur.  In 1924 there were 51 artist members and 500 collector members.  Artist membership was 'by election bi-annually.'

The society arranged travelling exhibitions in the USA and UK, and regularly circulated portfolios of artist members' work among its collector members.  It circulated between 8000 and 9000 prints and drawings in its circulating portfolios each year.  In 1924 there were 42 exhibitions of its members' work around the UK.  'A special effort was made to interest boys and girls at school in prints and print collecting,' says a report on the Society in the 1925 edition of The Year's Art (Hutchinson & Co).

The list of artist members includes a number of well-known etchers of the day.  As well as Dorothy Woollard, John Taylor Arms, Sylvia Gosse, Reginald Green, Hugh Paton and E. Marsden Wilson were also artist members.

Hesketh Hubbard was quite a figure in the 1920s printmaking world, with several books to his credit. He was (and is) a collected printmaker in his own right. Nowadays he is also well known to collectors of railwayana as the artist behind a number of carriage prints from the 1940s. In 1924 Morland Press published ‘the art of Hesketh Hubbard’ by Haldane Macfall. 

He was Master of the Art Worker’s Guild in 1948 (a post held by William Morris in 1892, Sir Frank Short in 1901, and Sir George Frampton in 1902), and ran a business called The Forest Press from his home at Wood Green, Breamore (pronounced Bremmer), south of Salisbury. In addition to arranging exhibitions and marketing prints, this business venture seems to have provided a commercial printing service for artists, and also a publishing vehicle for some of his own books on art subjects.  It is likely that Dorothy Woollard’s colour woodblock prints were published by Hesketh Hubbard’s Forest Press imprint.

Many of the following prints are inscribed by the artist to Hesketh Hubbard.  Some still have the descriptive information that was attached to the prints as they were circulated for consideration by members


Blackfeet Glacier, Rocky Mountains, by Lee Sturges

This 1922 etching is a significant work by American etcher Lee Sturges.  In 1923 it won him the Frank Logan medal at the Chicago Society of Etchers exhibition.  This print is pencil signed by the artist, signed and titled in the plate, titled in pencil in the margin, and inscribed ‘to E Hesketh Hubbard with best wishes’.  This is a top quality proof, with wide margins (5cm), and looks as if it has never been framed.

Sturges’ etchings were displayed in New York, Los Angeles and Paris. His solo exhibition within the Department of Graphic Arts at the original Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C., during March and April 1927 was a highlight of his artistic career.

Sturges made his own press during WW1, and the Sturges presses are still made in the USA by Printmakers Machine Company, making it what is claimed to be the oldest press line in the USA.

The Smithsonian and the Art Institute of Chicago have a copy of this work in their collections.

Dimensions: 15 x 25.2cm

Price:  £SOLD


Study of an old woman, 1921, by Doris Marion Stacey

Doris Stacey studied at the RCA and RA Schools, and lived in Carshalton, Surrey.  She was a flower and figure painter and drypoint artist.  This fine work was reproduced in the book ’66 etchings by members of the Print Society, 1923’, published by The Print Society as Plate number 57.  The original card folder from The Print Society carries a price tag of 63/-, and states that the etching was published by the Print Society.  The print has a very slight toning that matches the cutout area of the card frame.  Apart from that it is a lovely crisp proof.  It is glued to the card mount by the top corners only.

Dimensions: 26.5 x 20.2cm

Price:  £150.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK. 


Untitled river scene by Stella Langdale, 1880-?: 

Stella Langdale was a book illustrator, artist and printmaker.  The books she illustrated include ‘Symphonie Symbolique’ by Edmund John, 1919; ‘The Little House’ by Coningsby Dawson; ‘The Dream Of Gerontius’ by John Henry (Cardinal) Newman; ‘The Hound of Heaven’ by Francis Thompson; Legendary Stories of Walesby E M Wilkie (1934); and ‘Christ in Hades’ by Stephen Phillips, 1917. 

She was one of the artists (alongside Rosetti, Burne Jones and others) who contributed illustrations to the 1912 book ‘Stories of King Arthur and His Knights, retold from Malorys "Morte Darthur"’ by U. Waldo Cutler.  She was also one of the illustrators chosen for ‘The Book of the Epic: the World's Great Epics Told in Story’, by H A Guerber, 1913. 

Stella provided the cover illustration for the 1923 science fiction book ‘The Collapse of Homo Sapiens’ by Graham P. Anderson; and the 24 aquatints and numerous text illustrations for an urban guide  -  the 1926 Unknown Brighton’ by George  Aitchison.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, has a large collection of her work.  Stella moved there in 1940.  In around 1950 she moved on to Santa Barbara, California, for her health, and spent her final years there.  There seems to be some doubt about the date of her death, with dates ranging from the 1950s to the 1970s mentioned

Her printmaking work is less widely known than her paintings and book illustrations.  But she contributed the chapter on ‘How aquatints are made’ to Eric Hesketh Hubbard’s 1920 book ‘On making & collecting etchings; a handbook for etchers, students and collectors’, written by members of the Print Society.  This print must be regarded as a rare example of her printmaking work.

This lithograph has been printed onto a pale blue paper, and cropped very close to the edge of the image.  It is signed by the artist within the image area.  (It is difficult to make out if it has been signed later or if the signature is part of the image).  The print is glued to the backing card in all four corners.  The original Print Society card folder containing the print carries a typewritten note as follows:  LITHOGRAPH.  Drawn with a chalk on stone.  In this print a good many of the lights have been scraped out (on the stone) with a pen knife.  The solid blacks are probably put in with a brush.

Dimensions: 21 x 24cm.

Price:  £200.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.


Untitled colour stencil print by Maxwell Armfield

Maxwell Armfield was a painter, illustrator and decorative artist, with wide-ranging interests embracing theatre, music, teaching and journalism.  After training at the Birmingham School of Art and in Paris, he settled in the Cotswolds (as did many Arts and Crafts artists), until a seven-year visit to the USA starting in 1915.  In 1924 he founded the New Forest Group of painters, and this is probably how he came to know Eric Hesketh Hubbard. 

This untitled stencil print was trimmed to its rectangular shape with curved top and stuck to the backing sheet (corners only) by the artist to create 2-3cm margins all round.  It is pencil signed by the artist in the lower RH margin, with the date ‘23’.  On the opposite side the artist has written ‘For E.H.H.’.  The proof is in the original card folder in which it was circulated by The print Society, and carries a typewritten note as follows:  ‘STENCIL PRINT.  Printed from several stencil plates (of metal or card) one for each colour.  There is a considerable revival of this work in France at the present day for book illustration in colour’.   

Dimensions: 24 x 14.5cm.

Price:  £200,  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.


The dying man by Julius John Lankes, second proof, 1922

American artist JJ Lankes (1884-1969) worked exclusively in woodcut, and is best known for his depictions of pastoral scenes in the Eastern USA.  The 1999 book ‘The woodcut art of J.J. Lankes’ by Welford Dunaway Taylor lists some 1200 works.  This rather gritty woodcut of ‘the dying man’ dates from 1922, when the artist was in his late 40s. 

This is print number 2 from the block, and is signed and dated in the plate, and pencil signed and titled in the lower margin.  It is printed on a very thin paper with wide (6cm) margins, and glued to the backing card in the top corners.

Dimensions: 15 x 20cm

Price: £SOLD


‘Serving man with a rapier’, part of ‘George Fox his journal’ by Robert Spence

An important  Quaker-related work

This is one of a significant series of around 100 etchings by Tynemouth-born Robert Spence, chronicling events in the life of George Fox  -  founder of the Quakers.  Spence worked on this series for several decades.  This one, probably dating from the mid 1920s, describes an incident in which Fox is attacked by a serving man armed with a rapier.  The wording at the foot of the print reads as follows:  I was come downstairs into a lower room, and was speaking to the servants, and to some people that were there; a Serving-man of his came raving out of another room, with a naked rapier in his hand, and set it at my side.  But I looked steadfastly at him and said “Alack for thee, poor creature ! what wilt thou do with thy carnal weapon ?  It is mo more to me than a straw.  The standers-by were much troubled, and he went away in a rage and full of wrath.  George Fox, his journal.

The print has been cropped close to the platemark, and pencil signed by the artist and inscribed ‘to Hesketh Hubbard’ within the plate area.  It is also signed and inscribed to Hesketh Hubbard in pencil on the backing card.  It is stuck to its backing board by the top corners.

Dimensions: 20 x 25cm.

Sold.


Alnwick Castle by Leonard Squirrell: a different version ?

This aquatint is untitled, and based on comparisons with photographs shows Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, viewed from across the river Aln (if you know differently, please tell me).  Interestingly, this is much smaller than the Squirrell etching of Alnwick Castle that comes up for sale occasionally (size usually given as 20.5 x 34.5cm).  It is signed in pencil ‘Leonard R. Squirrell’ in the bottom RH margin.  It’s a fine rich print with 2.5cm margins all round, that looks as if it has never been mounted.  It is fixed to a backing card with hinged mounts.

Dimensions: 11.5 x 15.3cm

Sold.


Porte St Thomas, St Malo, 1923, by RR Tomlinson

Reginald Robert Tomlinson was one year older than Dorothy Woollard, and like her studied etching under Sir Frank Short at London’s Royal College of Art.  His career included spells designing pottery and teaching, and he authored books on art.  For 25 years he was the senior inspector for art with the London County Council.  Etchings by Tomlinson rarely turn up for sale.

Signed in the plate and pencil signed by the artist, also titled in pencil and inscribed ‘To R. Sallis Benney Esq’ (artist Ernest Alfred Sallis Benney, 1894-1966).

Dimensions: 25.0 x 17.5cm

Price: £150.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.


Aquatint, c.1920
Is it by Hesketh Hubbard ?


Nothing at all is known about this atmospheric aquatint.  It probably depicts a town in Brittany.  Among all the prints from the Print Society archive this was the only one that was untitled and unsigned.  The only information on the proof states that it was the 3rd proof to be taken.
      Hesketh Hubbard is known to have worked in aquatint (see for example his print titled 'New Forest Gypsies') so it's conceivable that this is an example of his work.  Unless you know differently. 

Dimensions: 20 x 12.5cm

Price: £75.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.



The smithy, Lyme Regis, by Edward Bouverie Hoyton

There’s a tenuous connection between Hoyton and Dorothy Woollard.  Hoyton studied under Stanley Anderson at Goldsmiths College.  Anderson had, like Dorothy, started his art studies at Bristol School of Art under Reginald Bush, moving on to the RCA where he studied under Frank Short.  Hoyton went on to be Principal of Penzance School of Art from 1941 to 1965 when he retired.  His wife Inez was also an artist and etcher. 

This is a very rich inked impression with wide margins (6cm +).  It is undated, but the subject matter probably puts it in the early 1930s.  There is a 1909 photograph in the Francis Frith Collection showing an almost identical scene.

Dimensions: 22.2 x 14.8cm

Price: £SOLD


Untitled woodcut by C I Phillips 1926

I know nothing at all about this artist.  The woodcut is on very thin paper, stuck to the backing card with hinged mounts at the top.  The paper has deckled slightly in the bottom RH corner

Dimensions: 18.8 x 20.3cm

Price: £50.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.


Untitled woodcut by Dora McLaren, c.1925

Dora McLaren was a student at the Central School of Arts and Crafts in 1917, and is best known as the illustrator of the Bobby Bear cartoon strip in the Daily Mirror through the 1920s, and the Bobby Bear Annual, as well as other children’s books and the occasional poster.

This print is signed by the artist and inscribed ‘To E.H.H. (Eric Hesketh Hubbard).   It is printed on very thin paper, which has become badly foxed over the past 80 years.  However, examples of her woodcuts are scarce, so even with the foxing it is an interesting item.

Dimensions: 6.7 x 6.7cm

Price: £80.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.


Melrose Abbey, Scotland, by Sir Thomas Duncan Rhind, 1911

Edinburgh-born Sir Thomas Duncan Rhind CBE (1871-1927) was an architect in the Arts and Crafts style.  Most of his projects were in Scotland, but in England he was the designer of the bridge across the River Thames at Henley. 

Few etchings by him are known.    In addition to this view of Melrose Abbey, the same year he did an etching of the East Window (a copy is in the Art Gallery of New South Wales).  This large print was circulated by the Print Society as an example of etching on copper.  The attached label reads:  ‘Compare the fineness of line that copper yields in comparison with zinc.  The faint lines in the sky, distance and left hand turret are obtained by being only bitten in a few minutes in the acid, the darker lines in the foreground and window being submitted to the acid much longer.’

It’s in excellent condition, never framed, with good margins, and in the Print Society's card folder with a strip of tape along the top edge.  The ink is blacker and the overall image crisper than they appear in this photo (the print is too big for my computer scanner).

Dimensions: 32.5 x 26cm

Price: £150.  P&P (UK only) £8.  Please ask about shipping costs to locations outside the UK.


.... more to come ....