William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

London Types, 1897

SKU: 2927
A complete set of twelve chromolithographs, after the original woodcuts, from the popular edition, circa 1897 
Each 9 7/8 x 7 7/8 in. (25 x 20 cm)

Height – 20cm x Width – 25cm


A complete set of twelve in shadow-box frames. 

Example of framing;

Although no contract for London Toper has come to light, the terms are outlined in a letter from Heinemann to Nicholson of 9 December 1897, `With regard to the price,’ writes Heinemann, `I agree to pay you ten guineas for each block and for the cover; and three guineas for a complete set of hand-coloured copies, mounted as before.’ It is clear from this letter that Nicholson had earlier provided Heinemann with a list of possible subjects for London Types. The publisher’s comments show that the planning of the series was still in its early stages at this time.

Rudyard Kipling was invited to write verses for the series sometime in the summer of 1898, but, as W. E. Henley remarked, he `wouldn’t or couldn’t’ accept the invitation. The commission was given instead – apparently at short notice – to Henley. In a letter of 18 August 1898, Henley writes: ‘Nicholson has done 12 admirable London types, and I’m trying to run each into verse. I’ve done three – to each his quatorzain. But the thing lacks an end … I ought to be at Margate or thereabouts; but I’ll scarce get there before October now.’ Henley’s verses for London Types earned him ¬£75.

For this publication Nicholson provided a cover design and thirteen woodcuts. The thirteen woodcuts are: Bus Driver (Knightsbridge Road); Guardsman (The Horse Guards); Hawker (Kensington); Beef-eater (The Tower); Sandwich-Man (Trafalgar Square); Coster (Hammersmith); Lady (Rotten Row); Bluecoat Boy (Newgate Street); Policeman (Constitution Hill); Newsboy (The City); Drum-Major (Wimbledon Common); Flower Girl (Any Corner); Barmaid (Any Bar). The Bus Driver was not used in the Library and Popular editions. The thirteen cuts are all approximately 10 x 9 inches in size. The surviving London Types blocks are listed on pp.240-1.
London Types was published in three Englishlanguage editions and two French editions.

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William Nicholson
1872 - 1949

Sir William Nicholson (1872 – 1949) was an English painter, also known for his work as an illustrator and author of children’s books.
He was the son of William Newzam Nicholson, an industrialist and Conservative MP of Newark, and Annie Elizabeth, the daughter of Joseph Prior and Elizabeth (nee Mallam) of Woodstock, Oxon.
He was a student at Hubert von Herkomer’s art school. Nicholson’s partnership with James Pryde, his brother-in-law, was conspicuous for striking graphical work and woodcuts – they were known as the Beggarstaff Brothers, and their poster work was significant historically. He married Mabel Pryde (1871-1918), also an artist, in 1893.
After 1900 he concentrated on painting, encouraged by Whistler.
He was knighted in 1936. Ben Nicholson and Nancy Nicholson were his children; as was the architect Christopher ‘Kit’ Nicholson.
He was involved in illustrating early volumes from Robert Graves, with Nancy, who was Graves’ first wife. He wrote and illustrated characteristic children’s books: The Velveteen Rabbit (1922) by Margery Williams and his own Clever Bill (1926) and The Pirate Twins (1929) for Faber & Faber.
He also designed stained glass, notably a memorial window at St Andrew’s Church, Mells.


SKU: 2620

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Li Hung Chang


SKU: 2622

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Lord Kitchener, circa 1900


SKU: 2037

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Dr Temple, The Archbishop of Canterbury, c.1898


SKU: 2038

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Henrik Ibsen, circa 1898


SKU: 2040

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Sir Henry Hawkins, 1899


SKU: 1801

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

President McKinley, 1901


SKU: 1056

William Nicholson (1872 - 1949)

Lord Roberts on Horseback, circa 1900