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Rocking The Cradle C.1885: Original Art By Victorian Child, May Chatteris Fisher For Sale
offers are invited for this rare surviving example of a painting
by a child growing up in England in the late Victorian era. The unframed watercolour on paper, signed in
pencil on the back, was probably painted in or around 1885, when its young
May Chatteris Fisher,
would have been 10 or 11 years old.
The two older girls in this picture could be May’s sisters,
Margaret and Helen. She often included
either two or three little girls in her childhood paintings and drawings –
although she usually depicting them playing in or around the Fisher family home
in a suburb of Manchester, rather than performing domestic tasks such as doing
As an adult, May became a professional artist, designer of
bookplates and illustrator of children’s books.
This original artwork has remained in the ownership of May’s
descendants ever since her death in 1910 and has never previously been offered
10.5” / 267mm wide
7.44” / 189mm high
WE SHIP WORLDWIDE AND ARE ALWAYS WILLING TO CONSIDER COMBINING
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DEPENDING ON THE LEVEL OF THE WINNING offer, WE CAN SEND THIS
UNFRAMED ANTIQUE ARTIFACT FLAT, BY AIR, TO CUSTOMERS IN THE
UNITED STATES & CANADA
FOR AS LITTLE AS £4.75 GBP.
PLEASE CLICK ON THE 'POSTAGE AND PAYMENTS' TAB TO SEE ALL
AVAILABLE SHIPPING OPTIONS TO NORTH AMERICA.
May was born, the
second of three sisters, into a family long associated with the north west of
England, and particularly with the thriving industrial and
commercial metropolis of Manchester. Her
paternal grandfather, Thomas Makin Fisher, was a Manchester saleeer, while
her mother’s father, a calico printer named John Chatteris, moved to the city
from London in the 1840s.
May’s father, William Henry Fisher (b. 1839), seems
to have followed in his father’s footsteps, as he is described as an
saleeer, architect and surveyor in official records of the time. Also recorded is his marriage in 1871, in
Manchester Cathedral, to Ada Chatteris (b.1848).
The couple’s three daughters were born in
consecutive years: Margaret (known as Daisy) in 1873, May in 1874 and the
youngest girl, Helen (known as Nellie), in 1875.
All three girls tried their hand at painting and
drawing as they grew up together, firstly at Withington, about four miles south
of Manchester city centre, and later at Bramhall, now a suburb of the Metropolitan
Borough of Stockport.
May showed artistic promise at a very early age, producing many charming
and imaginative paintings and drawings that have survived the 104 years since
her death as rare examples of original art by a Victorian child.
an adult, and after studying at the Manchester Municipal School of Art, May
became an accomplished book illustrator and designer of bookplates, with a
particular talent for portraying children and animals. In 1901 and 1904 she illustrated two books of
children’s fairy tales for the publishers Sherratt & Hughes: ‘Ignoramus’ by
E. Todd and ‘Pixie’ by Frances Reddaway.
In 1902, her works were praised in a survey, published in New York, of
female bookplate designers on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 1904, at Bramhall, May married the established
landscape painter, William Smallwood Winder (1869 – 1910). William and May lived in the English Lake
District at Staveley, Westmorland (now part of Cumbria), a few miles from the
market town of Kendal. They exhibited their
art together and were among the founding members of the Lake Artists Society. The couple’s only child, Arthur, was born in
1905. May’s sisters both married in
1906, Margaret Fisher in Kendal and Helen Fisher in Manchester.
and May both died suddenly in 1910 and Arthur was then brought up by relatives.
This watercolour has been handed down
in the Winder family ever since May’s death and has never previously been
offered for sale.
Please see our
other listings or visit our shop, Terence Kerr Images, for other original drawings and
paintings created by both May Chatteris Fisher and Helen Fisher, as children. We also currently offer individual original
pages from ‘May’s Picture Book’, a hardbound volume of nursery rhymes, fairy
stories & ‘cautionary tales’, hand painted & handwritten for May, when
she was 5 or 6 years old, by her cousins.
original late 19th century watercolour is in very good overall
condition, despite the fact it lay for several decades amidst other unframed
artworks in an attic. Fortunately, all
but the extreme right edge was completely shielded from dust & dirt by the
sheets above it in the pile. As our
scans show, although the lower right corner has sustained some damage & a
thin strip of grime did accumulate up the right edge, the rest of the painting
is relatively clean & the watercolours are still bright. There is also no evidence of ‘foxing’, the
brown spotting which spoils so many painted & printed artworks of this
vintage. The painting could be mounted
& framed successfully using acid-free materials, albeit with the loss of
the young artist’s signature on the back.
The dirty & damaged right edge could either be sliced off completely
or masked by the right edge of the picture mount ‘window’.
We aim to dispatch all orders within one
working day of receipt of cleared payment.
Delivery times may vary, especially during peak periods.
Delivery shipping charges are based on the actual cost of sending the
item(s) by Royal Mail 1st Class stamps. For some items, the charge may include a
minimal sum to cover the cost of packaging materials. As an alternative, we may offer delivery with
enhanced security via Royal Mail 1st Class Signed For.
For certain items, we may also offer Express Delivery using the Royal Mail
Special Delivery 1.00pm service.
Please click on the ‘Postage and payments’
tab, above, to view the full range of UK shipping options offered with this
Rest of World
We are willing to ship by air to most
countries worldwide either by Royal Mail International Standard (formerly known
as Airmail), or, to certain countries, by Royal Mail’s range of Tracking and
Signature services (formerly known as Airsure and International Signed For),
which provide end-to-end tracking or a signature on delivery, or a combination
of both. Please contact us by email to
find out whether we are prepared to ship to your destination and how much it
We seek to ensure that every item we sell,
wherever it is going, is shipped suitably protected against the risk of damage
in transit. Artworks such as paintings,
drawings and original antique engravings are always shipped flat, inside
acid-free bags within tough all-board envelopes, and with extra internal
stiffening. Archival canvas prints, also
protected by acid-free bags, may be sent rolled-up in stout, sealed cardboard
Terence Kerr Images is confident you will be
delighted with your purchase. However,
if you are not satisfied for any reason and you return any item to us within 14
days of delivery, in the same condition in which it was supplied, we will
refund the purchase price (which includes outward shipping) in full. This offer excludes any return postage and
packaging costs that you may incur.
This item has been shown times.
Rocking The Cradle C.1885: Original Art By Victorian Child, May Chatteris Fisher: $25