A Sincere Friend, Verses by William Sheff in Fine Copperplate Handwriting 1833




1833 copperplate poetry, A Sincere Friend, Verses by William Sheff.

Two quatrain verses by a William Sheff, meditating on the value of a sincere friend. In beautiful copperplate handwriting on watermarked 'J Whatman 1829' paper.

Signed and dated '1833'.
There is some age toning to the paper as shown. The picture may have other minor imperfections, such as slight marks, foxing, creasing or pinholes, commensurate with age. Please see photos for detail.
22.5cm x 17.6cm.
Unframed.

This picture forms part of a beautiful and poignant collection of related works that we have for sale, dating from 1830-6. The collection comprises exquisite examples of Regency friendship pictures and handwritten copperplate poetry. These works are set apart from the doodles and ditties more usually found in friendship albums in that they are of consistently high quality and meditate on various melancholic themes of great gravitas. Together, they form a collection of work in memoriam - centred, it seems, around the death of a young child named Edward.

The works include exquisite botanical paintings and portraits, and beautiful handwritten verses - many transcribed after poets such as Lord Byron, Thomas Moore, Theodor Körner and Thomas Haynes Bayly - meditating on widowhood, death, mortality and lost love. They evidence a time when the Romantics popularly revived the notion of ‘neurotic genius’, the idea that inner turmoil and anguish were driving forces behind creativity. Romantic literature indeed moulded the perception of melancholia and people turned to novels and poetry to self-cure their conditions.

The various hands in the collection are unidentified, but inscriptions include the initials J.S.B. and J.E.S, names William Sheff, Florence, Sydney and Rosa, and a location ‘Lambeth’.

Text copyright © 2018 Somerset & Wood Fine Art Ltd. All rights reserved.

Product code: JL-511


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