Wednesday, December 4, 2013

123. A Shannon lithograph in Holland

It was not often that lithographs by Charles Shannon turned up at auction in The Netherlands before World War II. Every now and then an auction catalogue listed one or two.

A sale at Van Stockum's Antiquariaat on 25-27 June 1918 contained one lithograph by Shannon, which was described in lot 462 as 'The Youth of Bacchus. - Litho. folio'. This probably was 'The Infancy of Bacchus' from 1897. Of this lithograph an edition in green was published in the fifth number of The Dial (1897).

Charles Shannon, 'The Infancy of Bacchus', lithograph, 1897
The catalogue contains old and modern prints, portraits and drawings from the collection of H. Dyserinck (1838-1906, minister of marine affairs) and of the artist ('kunstschilder') Th. van Hoytema (1863-1917), who became famous for his children's books illustrations in the nineties, The Ugly Duckling (1894). 

The catalogue contains etchings by Whistler and Haden, but no illustrations (or books) designed by Ricketts, and no other prints by Shannon. It is highly probable that the Shannon came from Van Hoytema's collection. On 18 December, Van Hoytema was born exactly 150 years ago.

Note, 18 December 2013: Theo van Hoytema's first children's book has been fully digitized by the National Library of the Netherlands: Hoe de vogels aan een koning kwamen [How the birds acquired a king].