William Shakespeare

Various artists/makers

Not on view

Derived from the famous sculpted effigy in Holy Trinity Church at Stratford-upon-Avon, this portrait print shows Shakespeare wearing a doublet, winged collar, earring and goatee. Laurels behind the head form a secular halo, and the subject is surrounded by emblematic objects–a skull, Tudor rose, and volume labeled "Comedia, Tragedia, Poesia," with a plaque below lauding the Bard as poet, philosopher and actor. Known as the “Victorian little master,” Sherborn worked for Swiss goldsmiths before returning to London to lead a revival of copper-engraved bookplates. This jewel-like print is close in scale to a bookplate but was not produced for a single collector. The Museum has examples of most of the nine states which together demonstrate how carefully the engraver developed the image. The artist's son donated this second state of nine, where parts of the composition remain undeveloped.

William Shakespeare, Charles William Sherborn (British, London 1831–1912 London), Engraving; second state of nine

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