This is an amazingly and richly detailed antique, hand colored, steel engraving depicting a Victorian style Santa Claus poised over the couple that "...had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap..." The artist has also included in this engraving a myriad of fanciful characters, objects and hints of a time long gone by. The longer you view this engraving the more objects you find hidden away.
William Howland engraved this fabulous piece with the artist as noted as J.G. (John Gadsby) Chapman, (1808-1889), is titled "Santa Claus" and "The Night Before Christmas" by Clement C. Moore printed in its entirety at the bottom of the engraving. Chapman's paintings can be found in museums and public art galleries worldwide. Between 1837 and 1840 he executed the most important picture of his career, the Baptism of Pocahontas, the fifth painting to decorate the Rotunda of the US Capital Building in Washington, DC. He is an acclaimed American painter, illustrator, and author. He is a must find on the Internet.
This hauntingly beautiful and wonderfully intricate engraving is in good condition with expected signs of wear for paper of this age and is protected by aged glass housed in an old frame with an adamantine like finish giving it a faux marble appearance. Be not alarmed by the tape on the back of the frame. It is the original wood backing and due to natural shrinkage of the wood over time, it does not fit as snugly. The tape is merely a protective measure to ensure its safety!
This gorgeous engraving weighs 7 pounds 7 ounces, the frame measures 24 inches by 29 inches and the engraving inside the frame measures 20 inches by 25 inches.
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