Lot 140: Victoria (Queen of England, 1819-1901). The infant Princess Victoria, 22nd February 1841, & Princess Victoria in profile and from behind, 26th February 1843, two etchings on india paper, mounted, light spotting, plate size 154 x 117mm (6.1 x 4.5ins), and 145 x 185mm (5.75 x 7.25ins) respectively. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert took up etching in 1840 under the tutelage of the Royal portrait painter Sir George Hayter. Between 1840 and 1850 Queen Victoria etched some sixty-two plates and Prince Albert twenty-five. The plates were etched at Windsor Castle and some proof impressions were pulled from a small press there. Occasionally, however, the plates were entrusted to a local printer called Brown who had instructions to return all impressions and plates to the Castle. The Queen and Prince Albert never intended these very personal etchings to stray outside of a very tight circle of family and friends. However, in 1847, a local journalist, Jasper Tomsett Judge, who specialised in Royal reportage, managed to acquire sixty unauthorised prints for £5 from a journeyman employee of Brown's called Middleton, with which he planned to launch an exhibition in London. The press releases in the newspapers advertising the event reached the attention of the Queen and Prince Albert and an injunction was obtained. As a consequence, very few etchings by either Royal exist outside of the royal collections at Windsor, and the set given to the British Museum by King George V. (2)
Dominic Winter's Fine Art & Antiques Auction July 2015
Thursday, 16th July 2015
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