Reynard ye Foxe, a set of ten drawings representing scenes from the fable. Reproduced in facsimile by S. Hurd. Joseph Crawhall.

Reynard ye Foxe, a set of ten drawings representing scenes from the fable. Reproduced in facsimile by S. Hurd.

1875. [London]: W.B. Paterson, [n.d. c. 1875?].

Very large 4to (18.25 x 14.25 inches.), (2) ff. title page and list of illustrations, 10 mounted color plates. Enclosed in the original rough cloth portfolio lettered in black.

§ Only edition, very scarce, no copy recorded for sale, only 2 copies in WorldCat -- UCLA and National Art Library (UK). “Crawhall for the last twenty-five years of his life had a free hand to devote time to artistic pursuits. He was fascinated by the past. This led to a specific interest in reproducing the kind of woodcuts and engravings associated with ancient chapbooks and ballad sheets. Although medieval glass and manuscripts were part of his inspiration, other decisive influences included the work of Thomas Bewick, which he much admired, and the rich tradition of producing chapbooks and ballad sheets which was attached to his native Newcastle.

By 1859 Crawhall had begun to produce books illustrated with his own engravings. These were after the style of the old ‘comic cuts’ hacked out with a knife, and proofs were often hand coloured. Some of his works were reprinted in the second half of the twentieth century, provoking interest because of the intriguing nature of their contents. At the age of sixty, when many consider retirement, Joseph entered the most creative and productive phase of his life. His capacity for work seemed limitless and he added Valentine cards, Christmas cards, and children's books to an ever growing list of woodcuts and chapbooks. Many of his works reflected his wide interests. He was a keen angler, and a number of his early books were on fishing, including the Newcastle Fisher's Garland of 1864, a collection of songs and poems about the pastime. He was also a musician with a love of the Northumbrian pipes and north-eastern songs. His Beuk o' Newcassel Sangs (1888) was produced by subscription and reprinted in 1965 at the time of the ‘folk revival’. His love of art alone may have gained him a lasting reputation. His close connections with the Bewick family enabled him to place many of Bewick's works in his personal collection as well as to bring them to the attention of fellow Novocastrians. As a leading member of the Newcastle Arts Association he helped to organize a number of successful exhibitions and is held responsible for much of the groundwork for the city's current art collections. Along with his brothers he was a keen rower and supporter of aquatics at a time when Tyneside was a world centre for the sport. He also found time to collect books and follow developments in archaeology. Another interesting aspect of Crawhall's life was the work emanating from his friendship with the Punch cartoonist Charles Keene. Crawhall's sharp wit and lively sense of humour led to a heavy involvement with Keene. For more than twenty-five years he provided his friend with rough drawings and ‘punch’ lines which the cartoonist then completed and published.” DNB. A copy sold at auction in 2004 for £575. Item #107580

Price: $975.00

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