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Feature March 2013

Past Newsletter Articles - Baxter's Prints on Perforated Mounts

Our Members' Newsletters contain many interesting articles including these two from 12 years ago.

A Question of Perforations - Baxter's Prints on Perforated Mounts (November 2000)

Collectors are familiar with Baxter's practice of putting many of his prints on mounts of various types, beginning with the lettered mounts, then the blue line, red seal and embossed (S.M.) mounts. A number of his prints, as a result of further production runs over the years, can be found not only on a blue line mount, but also on a red seal mount and embossed (S.M.) mount.

There is curiously a further state, to which Courtney Lewis makes a brief reference, and that is the perforated mount, but very few of Baxter's prints are documented in this format. Strangely, "The Centenary Baxter Book" of 1936, which purports to list all the various states in which each Baxter print was produced, makes no mention of a perforated mount.

George Baxter's Funeral of the Duke of Wellington, published 1852

In all my years as a collector, I have acquired only one print in this state, "The Funeral of the Duke of Wellington". It is on a white card mount, with a decorative border made up of perforated circles in patterns of four round the print.

The main source of information on these mounts is gleaned from correspondence on this topic in "The Baxter Times" of 1924. There, it identifies six of Baxter's prints on perforated mounts.

1. Duke of Wellington's Funeral (buff mount)
2. Daughter of the Regiment (blue and white mounts)
3. Crossing the Brook (pale pink mount)
4. Derwent Water (pale pink mount)
5. First Impressions, small (green mount)
6. St Ruth's Priory (pink mount)

The prints listed were all published between 1846 and 1856, but one cannot conclude from that statistic that these particular mounts were necessarily produced over this ten-year period.

They raise a number of interesting questions. Were the mounts produced by Baxter? Courtney Lewis offers no evidence to that effect. Perhaps another stationary firm bought the prints from Baxter and put them on their own perforated mount. Having suggested that possibility, there is nothing to say they are not Baxter's own work.

Were the perforated borders all of the same design? And what was the reason for putting the prints on this type of mount? The most likely answer is that they were produced to satisfy the demand for decorative and artistic items of ephemera for inclusion in Victorian scrapbooks, which were very popular at that time. Decorative paper mounts, both embossed and cut-design, were widely used for prints and amateur watercolours, etc., which were then put in the pages of the owners' personal scrapbook. The different coloured mounts listed above would seem to add weight to this suggestion as many scrapbooks were produced with different coloured pages.

And finally, how many of Baxter's prints appeared on a perforated mount? Perhaps some of our members have an example in their own collections and could add to the documented list or even throw further light on the origin of these un usual mounts. I'm sure our editor would be pleased to hear from you.

Perforated Mounts (March 2001)

The November 2000 Newsletter, page 12, raises the question of how many Baxter prints can be found on perforated mounts. Like the earlier contributor, I only have 'The Funeral of the Dike of Wellington', but in a book I bought recently I found some more information.

This book gives prices raised at auctions in 1926 and on April 8th, the following information is given:

'Little Red Riding Hood (CL 357) on perforated mount - £5/5/0
Paul and Virginia (CL 151), large, on perforated mount - £2/0/0
Morning Call (CL 360) on perforated mount - £2/0/0
Duke of Wellington's Funeral (CL 292) on perforated mount - £3/10/0
Jenny Lind, Daughter of the Regiment (CL 219) on perforated mount - £13/0/0'

This information gives us another three prints to add to the list. Does anyone else know of any more?