of Antique Face Screens in papier mâché. C.1860.
screens are painted with Gothic scenes, reflecting the mood of the mid
19th century, when a new sense of patriotism swept away the
neoclassical style and introduced the neo-gothic.
screen is painted with the interior of a Gothic abbey or church. There
are very grand-royal?- tombs with effigies of the departed on the sides.
Gothic arches lead to a dark interior. On one screen a woman sits near a
font, on the other a man sits on a tomb holding his basket. There is
definition on both the tiny faces, although one needs a magnifying glass
to see the rather gloomy (especially the man’s) expressions.
pictures by George Cattermole (1800-1868) were originally woodcuts
used to illustrate "The Old Curiosity Shop" by Charles Dickens
which was published in 1841. They were first published in the
weekly periodical "Master Humphrey's Clock" which ran from
April 1840 till December 1841.
The scene depicting a male figure, entitled "The
Grave of Little Nell", was made to illustrate Chapter 72. It was originally
titled "The Old Man, watching over Nell's Grave". The scene
depicting a female figure, entitled "Resting among the Tombs"
illustrated Chapter 53 was originally titled "Nell, reading in the
Cattermole's water colour painting
depicting "The Grave of Little Nell", is
in the V&A Museum in London.
painting over a gold ground, the artist suggests light and darkness in a
most skilful way. Sometimes gold leaf, sometimes metallic powders were
used to this effect. There is no escaping the sombre mood of the scene.
neo-gothic style was a specialty of the Wolverhampton makers.
handles are in turned wood with remnants of gilding.
UK ; Circa:1860 ;
papier mâché and wood
Size: Screen 23.5 cm
wide by 20 cm; handle 20.2 cm long: 8.25 inches wide by 8
inches; handle 8 inches.
refer to the above photographs for details of condition.
is given to Yvonne Jones, Author of, Japanned Papier Mâché and Tinware
who identified the pictures.