“Portrait of a Beard.”
A wonderful image of a prize winning Victorian pigeon! Engraved and hand colored by the son of one of Britain's foremost sporting artists, Dean Wolstenholme, Junior (1798-1882) . Wolstenholme Junior shared a name, an occupation and an artistic style with his father. Both men were great sportsmen and hunters who painted and engraved hunt scenes, dog prints, horse portraits and other sporting pursuits with humor and an innate sporting instinct. Junior was a great pigeon fancier who illustrated his hobby by drawing and painting many different breeds. His contemporary John Matthews Eaton bought some of Wolstenholme's copper plates and reissued them in 1852 and 1860. According to Siltzer, “ In the print room of the British museum is a set of fourteen prize birds coloured by hand in which he [Wolstenholme] has achieved the grey and green sheen on the neck of the pigeons in all perfection.” Siltzer, The Story of British Sporting Prints, p.309.
This original aquatint engraving was published in London and is “humbly dedicated to the Gentlemen of the Feather Club.” This wonderful portrait is a fabulous combination of silliness and gravitas. He and his friends (we have two more) would be great company on your library wall!
Aquatint engraving on wove paper.
12 x 13 3/4 inches plate size, 12 x 15 ½ inches sheet.
Trimmed sheet, clean impression with single old pin point stain upper left image ans one in background above bird. Framed in original curly maple frame. Some missing gesso on gold liner. Outside framed dimensions 15 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches.
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