The Bear and Billet in Chester has had a wonderful centuries-long history as a public house and inn. Modern interest in the famous pub was generated when it was noted to be where John Lennon's great-grandmother Annie Jane Milward was born in 1873.
William Monk was one of England's most famous architectural etchers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He was elected a full member of the Royal Engravers in 1899. Museums that purchased his etchings and paintings in the early Twentieth Century include the British Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. He accomplished about 100 etchings in his lifespan (1863-1937).
Although he would eventually choose widespread subjects (such as The Cathedral at Notre Dame and The Royal Jubilee Celebrations at St. Paul's Cathedral), this charming 1892 etching is of the famous inn in the artist's hometown of Chester. It is beautifully framed (15.5" by 21") and matted. The actual etching measures 7.5" by 13".
On the back is the sticker from framers Marshall Field. It was framed in the 1930s for Werner W. Schroeder, Chicago attorney and Vice Chair of National Republican Committee. We have not removed it from its frame since purchasing it at an estate sale.
It is in wonderful condition, the hand coloring still vivid.
(INV Code: OS 12-B02)
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