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Catalogue of a Collection of George Baxter Oil Prints (with notes) formed by Frederick Mockler 1893

1) Cover of the catalogue 2) Preface dated August 1893 3) Sample page of the catalgue 4) Another copy this time with the label offering copies of proofs 5-7) Pages with * detailing what proofs were available 8) A photocopy of earlier edition with out the red text at the top, image courtesy of K & S Exton

This was, as far as we know, the earliest catalogue of prints by George Baxter. It was written by Frederick Mockler in the same year that he purchased from Abraham Le Blond all of the Baxter plates and blocks that Le Blond held along with some of Le Blond's own plates.

This purchase most probably gave Mockler the inspiration and information to write the catalogue. At the top of the outer cover is “A limited number with frontispiece by G Baxter at 5s”, I have never seen a copy with a frontispiece. After he purchased Baxter’s plates Mockler took impressions in monochrome of about 68 of them and issued his own portfolio (Link 1 below). When or around that time he also purchased from Le Blond a vast stock of prints. Many of these would have been what we now know today as Le Blond Baxters (Link 2 below), the frontispiece could have been a colour Baxter / Le Blond Baxter print or it could have been one of Mocklers own reprints. Can anyone confirm?

The book starts with a 3 page preface which is basically a brief biography of George Baxter and his prints and proceeds into the 12 page catalogue which gives a title and date of publication where known. This was the first catalogue and at that time information was scarce and sometimes incorrect so it is not surprising that some items were recorded as Baxters that in fact weren’t, for example ‘Nine views of London’, which is most probably the Bradshaw & Blacklock print, also Galway Peasants, Cavalier The Royal Family in Scotland, The Alhambra, Loch Kathrine and Scene at Windsor Castle all prints that we now know are by Le Blond.

Some Baxter prints had more of a description than a title so “A girl leaving Home (subject taken from the Vicar of Wakefield)” we now know is Baxter’s Parting Look.

I have one copy of the book that has under the preface a purple label which states, “A few proofs of the prints with an asterisk (*) before them can be had from the author on application F.M.” In his own collection Mockler had many proofs taken by Baxter which Mockler later exhibited but those seem single ‘unique’ copies so the only conclusion is that the proofs to which he refers are his own reprints for his portfolio. Only four prints are asterisked, two are included in his portfolio ‘The Crucifixion and The First Impressions but ‘The Coronation (very rare)’ and ’The Slaves’ weren’t.

Is one of these the possible missing print from the portfolio OR, as I would have thought Mockler would have taken impressions from more than the 68 plates he eventually short listed to include in his portfolio, are these examples of those? There are no records to show that Mockler had the plate of the Coronation, he didn’t purchase it from Le Blond but he could have easily purchased that separately. We do know the plate was in the Owen collection in the 1920’s along with most of the other plates Mockler had.

Kirsty and Syd Exton have advised us of a further, most probably first edition. This is exactly as my copies but instead of the red text at the top of the page there is just the text ‘One shilling’.

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