Wednesday, 12 June 2013

London Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia

Sanders of Oxford will once again be exhibiting at this years London Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia. We will have on display over five hundred prints and maps from the 16th to 20th Century. These include striking Japanese woodblock prints, early portraits, caricatures, maps and fine mezzotints. All items will be listed on our website shortly, but if there is anything in particular you would like us to bring along just let us know.

To view a catalogue of highlights that will be on display at the fair please click here .

The National Hall,
Olympia Exhibition Centre,
Hammersmith Road,

Opening Hours:
Thursday 13th June – 3pm – 8:30pm
Friday 14th June – 11am – 7pm
Saturday 15th June – 11am – 5:30pm

Lillian Lancaster 
Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Lith. London W.C. 1871. 
Image 202 x 240 mm, Sheet 228 x 276 mm

This map derives from Dr. William Harvey’s ‘Geographical Fun. Being Humorous Outlines of Various Countries.’ It was a series of pictures in which the principal European countries were personified by a figure in keeping with the stereotypical character of its people. Harvey's publication first appeared in 1869, and was published by Hodder & Stoughton. A chromolithographic edition followed in 1871, which was printed by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son. It is believed that the maps were created by Lillian Lancaster; a fifteen year-old girl who envisaged them as a means to entertain her brother who, through illness, was confined to his bed. The works are a prodigious achievemnet for a girl so young. Her amusing draughtsmanship is accompanied by verse written by William Harvey, but accredited to his pseudonym ‘Aleph.’ The stanza for this map reads:

‘For Shakespeare’s Prince, and the Princess of Wales,
To England dear. Her royal spirit quails;
From skating faint, she rests upon the snow;
Shrinking from unclean beasts that grin below.’

Lancaster’s map of the Scandinavian country appears to be a thinly veiled representation of Alexandra of Denmark. ‘Shakespeare’s Prince’ is a reference to Prince Denmark of Hamlet, whilst the ‘Princess of Wales’ appellation alludes to the position that she held from 1863 until 1901; the longest period that anyone has ever possessed the courtesy title. The activity of ice-skating is also pertinent, for it was one of Alexandra’s foremost social activities in addition to dancing and tandem horseriding. 

The firm of Day & Haghe was one of the most prominent lithographic companies of the nineteenth-century. They were also amongst the foremost pioneers in the evolution of chromolithography. The firm was established in 1823 by William Day, but did not trade under the moniker of Day & Haghe until the arrival of Louis Haghe in 1831. In 1838, Day & Haghe were appointed as Lithographers to the Queen. However, and perhaps owing to the fact that there was never a formal partnership between the two, Haghe left the firm in the 1850’s to devote himself to watercolour painting. The firm continued as Day & Son under the guidance of William Day the younger (1823 - 1906) but, as a result of a scandal involving Lajos Kossuth, was forced into liquidation in 1867. Vincent Brookes bought the company in the same year, and would produce the caricatures for Gibson Bowles’ Vanity Fair magazine, as well as the illustrations for Cassells’s Poultry Book, amongst other commissions.