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Friday 15 February 2019

Dalziel Brothers’ wood-engraving, "Summer Snow", 1863

Wood-engravers: Dalziel Brothers (aka Camden Press; Dalziel and Co.) (1839–1905)
Designer: Edward Burne-Jones (1833–98)
“The Summer Snow”, 1863, illustration to Dora Greenwell’s poem, “Summer Snow”, published by Strahan & Co. (London and Edinburgh, 1863) in “Good Words for 1863” (opp. p. 380), after the design drawn (but not engraved) on the printing plate by Edward Burne-Jones.

Extract from Greenwell’s poem:
“Once in a garden fair,
Huddling close their heads together,
Flowers were heard to whisper there,
‘Oh the changeful April weather!
Soft falls the summer snow,
On the springing grass drops light,
Not like that which long ago,
Fell so deadly cold and white;
This wears the Rose's flush,
Faint, ere bloom hath quite foregone her,
Soft as maiden's timid blush,
With the looks she loves upon her.’" (p. 380)

Wood-engraving on wove paper with letterpress title, trimmed with small margins and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 16.4 x 12.2 cm; (image borderline) 14.6 x 10.7 cm
Signed on plate within the image borderline: (lower-left corner) “DALZIEL”.
Titled with letterpress text below the image borderline: “THE SUMMER SNOW.”

Amanda-Jane Doran (2017) offers excellent insights about this print:
Interestingly, Doran proposes that there is a possibility that Georgiana (Burne-Jones’ wife) may have been involved in the engraving of this plate.

This print is discussed in the Dalziel Brothers’ (viz. G & E Dalziel) 1901 publication, “The Brothers Dalziel: A Record of Fifty Years’ Work ...1840–1890”, Camden Town, Camden Press, p. 162. In this discussion, William Holman Hunt’s letter (1861) to Alexander Strahan regarding the choice of illustrators for “Good Words” proposes that Edward Burne-Jones “… is perhaps the most remarkable of all the younger men of the profession for talent”. Holman Hunt then advises that Burne-Jones: “… has yet, I think, made but few if any drawings on wood, but he has had much practice in working with the point both with pencil and pen and ink on paper, and so would have no difficulty with the material” (p. 162).

See also the description at the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne):

Condition: crisp and well printed impression on wove paper with small margins and laid on a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in an excellent/near pristine condition.

I am selling this famous wood engraving—in the sense that it is often reproduced with reference to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and features in the current exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), “Love and Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate”—for AU$130 (currently US$92.48/EUR82/GBP72.10 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).

If you are interested in purchasing this extraordinarily beautiful wood-engraving featuring “a portrait of Jane Morris in the early years of her marriage to the artist’s close friend and artistic collaborator, William Morris” (Doran [2017]), please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold

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