Early English lithography

Posted on 31st January 2024 by simonbeattie

Like many colleagues in the trade, I’m currently gearing up for the California book fair next week. One thing I shall be exhibiting in San Francisco is this, Henry Bernard Chalon’s (1770–1849) ‘famous stone of Wild Horses’ (Man, p. 107), his only early lithograph, for Vollweiler’s Specimens of Polyautography (Part III, 1806; see below). 

‘The son of Jan Chalon, Henry Chalon was painter of animals to the court of the Prince Regent and the Duke of York.  He painted numerous portraits of horses and dogs including one of the thoroughbred horse Fidget.  Graves’ dictionary states that he exhibited in London at the Royal Academy, the British Institution, the Suffolk Street Gallery and the Society of Painters in Watercolours between 1792 and 1849’ (Benezit).

‘The Specimens of Polyautography was the most important publication of early lithographs in England.  There were two issues: one by [Philipp] André in 1803 and the other by Vollweiler in 1806–1807’ (Man, p. 128).  Vollweiler’s issue, containing 36 prints, was published in six parts, the first two of which include the twelve prints from André’s earlier issue.  I could not trace a set of Vollweiler’s issue at auction, but a copy of André’s was sold at Christie’s in 2014 for £52,500.

See Felix H. Man, ‘Lithography in England (1801–1810)’, in Prints: thirteen illustrated essays on the art of the print, selected for the Print Council of America by Carl Zigrosser (1963), pp. 97–130.

For details of this and other items I am bringing to the fair, please do take a look at my fair list.

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