Norwegian Carriole & Horse - Original early 19th-century pen & ink drawing


An original early 19th-century pen & ink drawing, Norwegian Carriole & Horse.

A jaunty pen and ink drawing showing a distinctly Norwegian carriole in a pine-forested landscape. A carriole was an open two-wheeled carriage drawn by one horse, the design of which allowed the driver to sit with his legs stretched out in front of him. The patience and stamina of Norwegian horses was particularly admired by British tourists in the 19th century, and travelling by carriole was favoured as a way of taking in the picturesque scenery more effectively.

Indistinctly initialled right: 'IME'? Inscribed below the image 'Norwegian Carriole.'
Some minor marks and age toning, as shown.
18.7cm x 12.5cm.

This work forms part of a collection of pictures from an early nineteenth-century tooled leather album or ‘friendship book’. Seen as a record of friendship, this relatively small-scale artwork takes on a particularly intimate charm.

Friendship books were very popular in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Usually the name of the book’s owner was inscribed inside the front cover, and it was then circulated among their friends: each friend would write a dedication inside – perhaps poetry or a quotation – before returning it. In the more interesting examples, they would also include small works of art, and other mementoes.

The works of art, like the inscriptions of poetry or quotations, would often reflect on the value of friendship, communicating values of loyalty and steadfastness. The drawings or paintings would depict emblematic flowers such as forget-me-nots, or landscape views of inspiring scenes. Over time, friendship books built up into fascinating documents: visually rich, and giving an intimate picture of the book’s owner’s relationships. Some friendship books even came with built-in locks, to keep the dedications from prying eyes.

Text copyright © 2017 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JH-105

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