G. Osborne, Bridge near Castle Ruins - Early 19th-century graphite drawing


An original early 19th-century graphite drawing, G. Osborne Bridge near Castle Ruins.

A finely modelled graphite drawing of figures boating and talking near a river, with a view of an old bridge and castle in the background. The label is mispelled, and refers to a place called 'Theckincor Wood', which is mentioned in an 1870 book 'Memorials of the Life and Character of Lady Osborne,' by someone likely a relation. Though this place cannot be traced, it is possible it refers to an out of date place name. She also mentions someone by the name of 'George Osborne', a cousin, in this novel, who is likely the artist here. 

Signed lower right. Inscribed lower centre: 'View of the old castle and Tickinchor Woods. [Rubbed out in graphite]. G. Osborne'.
Foxing and age toning around the edges as shown. Overall tinting from historical application of gum arabic wash. Paper loss to the lower right and left corners as shown. Pinhole in the upper right corner. Hole in the lower left quadrant, near the bridge to the left. Patch of thinning and abrasion to the paper in the lower centre, near the figures. 
17.8cm x 25.2cm.

This work is one of a collection we have for sale from an early nineteenth-century album with a cover inscription that reads ’The Property of St. Cyres Guest House, Jersey’. The label is a bit of a misnomer, as the book was actually used as a commonplace album once owned by a Jane Dorothea Warde, daughter of the Reverend Richard Warde at Yalding Vicarage in Kent. Executed by a number of hands, and filled with rich prose, poetry and artworks spanning from 1812 to 1827, the works in this book form a microcosm of popular taste in the late Georgian world, but also of the cultivated intimacy that passed freely between family and friends. 

The inscription on the first page reads ‘Jane Warde, from her brother R.R. (Richard Ramsay) Warde, June 26th, 1817’, indicating that it is likely that as a book of blank paper, the album was either found or bought and then gifted and reused by the then sixteen-year-old Jane as a place to collect personal items from family, friends and acquaintances. The book was likely printed some years earlier, in 1813, which would explain why a majority of the images in this collection bear an 1813 Molineux & Johnston (M&J) Prince of Wales paper watermark regardless of the date on the image. Jane appears to have moved in upper class circles - outside of many family members whose names can be traced in the book, it also includes works by high members of the Royal Navy, the children of wealthy landowners from Scotland and Wales, as well as a banker from Brighton, who later became infamous for swindling his investors in a widely publicised court case in 1842.

Though the skill level varies between artists, and the works range from impromptu drawings to copies of popular prints, each work is crafted with delicate attention to detail, with even the more cursory drawings containing an element of wit and vivacity. Each image tells a small piece of the story of its individual artist, and is an exciting piece of the historical record of late Georgian society.

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

Product code: JG-522

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