Posthumous Baxters is a name given to prints that came from a group of plates discovered by Mr Mockler (via information from Mr Bullock) at Joy & Co pawn shop in Birmingham. They were subsequently purchased by J S Rhodes in the late 1890's. The plates were said to include Baxter plates of:
Me Warm Now
Interior of the Lady Chapel Warwick
Boys throwing stones at Ducks
Girls outside of a mansion
and 'unknown' plates:
Going to Church
Lake Scene in the Highlands
The Trysting Place
There isn't a definitive list from the parties at the time but the list above is a mixture of known reproductions taken by the Baxter Society members, titles given by the people involved at the time, although Mockler states they were found at "Mr Best's establishment in Cheapside (London?)". Also other prints that can be found with the same fake signature.
J S Rhodes a collector and Hon Secretary of the first Baxter Society sold or split the plates between members of the Baxter society and it is said 100 copies of some were printed by Drake Driver & Leaver in brown ink and under the prints would be the wording:
"GOING TO CHURCH Posthumous plate of G. Baxter, published by J.S. Rhodes, Hon. Sec. Baxter Society. Birmingham 1898"
The Trysting Place was so printed for Charles F Bullock (stated as Baxter Society Member and Art Dealer), The Lake Scene - T Priest and others printed for Karberry and possibly others.
From the (poor) images collected over the years the date seems to say 1898 (or possibly 1896) but as Rhodes was not actively involved with the society in 1896 the later date seems more likely. If someone has an actual example of one of these printings perhaps they can 100% confirm the date 1896 or 1898?
Copies of Going to Church and The Trysting Place printed by Drake Driver & Leaver in 1898(?) for members of the then Baxter Society
Samples of the signatures found on many of these prints - BAXTERS Patent Oil Printing 11 Northampton Square
One thing that connects most of the prints is that on many including the 'unknown' plates they are engraved in the steel plate bottom right, Baxters Patent Oil Printing 11 Northampton Square in a style that Baxter used on many small pocket book and other illustrations circa 1846 - 1850. These 'unknown' plates are so unlike anything Baxter would have been producing at that time we feel the signature may have been added later. Boys throwing stones at ducks for instance, we know the original steel plate had the title under but at some stage this was removed and the new signature added. Courtney Lewis erroneously states that print didn't have a key plate so the 'fake' plate must be later but we have now proved this actual Posthumous plate was produced prior to 1838 so must be the original. The Interior Lady Chapel Warwick, originally a plate in Baxter's Cabinet of Paintings but fake copies turn up with this Baxter Patent signature, no original copies have ever been seen so signed and I can't think why Baxter would sign in such an unlikely way, the signature seems disproportionately small for the size of the print.
The main connection between these plates is George Baxter Junior. He is known to have printed Holy Family. It is also known he produced the original watercolour of the Lake Scene and produced a colour print of the same subject. Etheridge states he printed copies of Harvest Time, Me Warm Now and also So Nice although this later print would be strange as we know this plate had been in the hands of Le Blond from 1868 and would have no reason to pass this plate to him. As GB Jr had moved to Montpelier Street in Birmingham circa 1870 - 1875 and gave up printing from his father's methods (i.e. using steel plates) about this time finding the plates in the Birmingham Pawn shop seems the likeliest story
We illustrate examples from the plates below, they can be found in brown (possibly the printings by Drake Driver & Leaver) but also in red. Some are very basically and poorly hand coloured where others are very well done with and added gum arabic to try and replicate Baxter glaze.
Please also see our fakes and forgeries page
The Trysting Place
The Little Gardeners - larger than the Baxter print of the same title and in reverse, very commonly found printed in red
Me Warm Now - a genuine Baxter to the left and a basic hand coloured copy to the right. Some copies are excellent fakes and very hard to tell the difference from the genuine article, please see our fakes and forgeries page for more details. All copies still have the correct Baxter signature within the body of the print so there was no need to put the fake signature underneath. GB Jr is said to have produced this print with an Oxford gold border but I have never seen a definite copy. He would not have thought it necessary to remove his fathers signature
Harvest time, I have only ever seen copies in red. The impression still has the genuine Baxter signature in the body of the plate. Again if GB Jr did print from this plate he would not have removed his father's signature and any later faker would not have needed to add any fake signature
The Lake Scene, the original watercolour is by GB Jr and he produced a print in colour with gold border. His colour print is unsigned but the impression above has the Baxter Patent signature (unusually) in the lower lower corner of the body of the print
Going to Church, can be found in brown but regularly seen poor and also comprehensively coloured with gum arabic
The Moorish Bride, printed in red and the commonly brown and then hand coloured
Girls outside the gates of a mansion - the fake reproduction to the left and the genuine Baxter on the right. Originally a plate from Tales for Girls published by Darton & Son 1835. The plate might easily have been retained by the publisher but how did it come into the hand of GB Jr? Could it have been discovered at the publishers many years later and amalgamated with GB Jr's plates by the fakers who took the impressions?.
Boys throwing stones at ducks - two fake impressions poorly coloured and fully colour with gum arabic - Originally a plate from Tales for Boys also published by Darton & Son 1835 and presumably would have always been with the plate opposite