William Nicholson 1872– 1949
Beef-Eater (The Tower) 1898
Hand-coloured wood engraving, printed on Japan paper, laid onto a sheet of wove paper, laid onto board 10 × 9 ¼ inches (25.5 × 23.2 cm)
Published by William Heinemann. From the deluxe edition of London Types.
William Nicholson produced thirteen designs for London Types: a Bus Driver, Guardsman, Hawker, Beef-eater, Sandwich-man, Coster, Lady, Bluecoat Boy, Policeman, Newsboy, Drum-Major, Flower Girl, and Barmaid. The prints were each accompanied by a quartorzain by W.E.Henley, publisher of The New Review. The book was published in three English editions. The rare Deluxe Edition contained woodcuts printed from the original woodblocks which were hand-coloured by the artist, trimmed to the border, mounted on card, signed in pen and ink on the card, and issued loose in a portfolio. Around 40 sets of these examples were printed.
Nicholson’s striking graphic work from the 1890s established his reputation long before he found fame as a painter. Either on his own account, or in collaboration with his brother-in-law James Pryde, he designed posters, made book illustrations and woodcuts. Working with publisher William Heinemann, he published An Alphabet 1898, An Almanac of Twelve Sports and London Types 1898, among others.