By Ball Hughes, 1867
Images courtesy of the Owner
"The Burgomaster and His Daughter" by J Gilbert
As it appeared in the Illustrated London News, April 21, 1860, p. 385
Courtesy of John Weedy
Compare Ball Hughes poker sketch to John Gilbert's woodblock engraving of his painting above.
This picture of the Burgomaster
and Daughter was burnt with a
Poker from J Gilbert's celebrated painting
Ball Hughes. Fecit
Closeup of additional inscription:
The subject of this picture was
selected by Mr. D Henshaw Ward
and is the only one burnt
(from lower left corner of verso, very faint, transcribed by the Owner)
David Henshaw Ward (1830-?) was a Boston businessman. In 1873, he moved to Oakland, CA. From the E-Museum of Art Antique Art Hall Ball Hughes Salon No. 5: "The following is from a 1976 letter written by Mrs. Margaret Brown [I believe this should be Marjorie Brown, wife of Rudolph Henry Brown, my uncle] from her own research on the famous Brown ancestor:"
D. Henshaw Ward owned this and other Pokersims by Ball Hughes. This pokerism and its companion, Peter Paul Rubens In His Study, have the same style frame. This pokerism, like Rubens In His Study, apparently was made expressly for D. Henshaw Ward. They were both owned by a couple that moved to California from the east coast after they retired. They may have purchased them in California. They were purchased by an auctioneer in 2012.
Side-by-side images of Peter Paul Rubens In His Study and The Burgomaster and Daughter
From the Owner:
The [Peter Paul Rubens In His Study] pyrography is 10" x 12" and framed it is 17" x19". The carved walnut frame seems to be original to the work.
The [Burgomaster and Daughter] pyrography is 14 1/2" x 11 1/2 ", framed it is 19 x 22. The carved walnut frame seems to be original to the work.
William Dana Orcutt records in Good Old Dorchester Cambridge: John Wilson & Son, UP, 1893, pp. 382-383:
"Mr. Hughes manifested his artistic nature in more ways than one. He excelled, among other things, in executing what are known as "poker sketches." These are pictures made on whitewood, the only tools used being pieces of iron, which were heated to a white heat. Every touch of the hot iron leaves a mark which cannot be effaced, and the work is so trying to the nerves that only a short time each day can be devoted to it. The effects of color can only be appreciated when seen. It seems incredible that such artistic results could have been produced in this way. Among the works of this kind, many of which are now in the possession of Mr. Hughes' son-in-law, Mr. Benjamin F. Brown, may be mentioned "The Trumpeter," "The Monk," "Falstaff Examining his Recruits," — embracing a dozen or more figures, —"Rembrandt," "Don Quixote," "Shakespeare," "Rubens," and "The Scotch Terrier.""
Sir John Gilbert (1817-1897) was a British artist who was known for the illustrations and woodcuts (woodblock engravings) that he produced for the Illustrated London News. He also produced illustrations for books, including Shakespeare's plays. See Falstaff Examining his Recruits by Ball Hughes.
Ball Hughes probably copied a woodblock engraving of Gilbert's painting that appeared on p. 385 of the Illustrated London News, April 21, 1860. The engraving was titled "The Burgomaster and His Daughter" by J Gilbert. The Illustrated London News was the world's first illustrated weekly newspaper and no doubt was available in Boston. The history of the ILN and back issues are available on John Weedy's Illustrated London News website at http://www.iln.org.uk/.
last update 9/11/2012
For noncommercial use, Copyright David E. Brown 2008-2012