Arthur Rackham or not?

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Arthur Rackham or not?

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Mrz. 5, 2011, 10:34am

Does anyone know if Arthur Rackham ever signed his illustrations with anything but his name?

I have an illustration with a monogram from the "The Blackamoor" from Aesop's fables. I've looked at the book and that particular picture and I have spoken with someone who used to work at an auction house, who is researching for me. I've puzzled over the monogram, whick looks a little like "MS" but intertwined.

It's on very old art-paper and there is slightly less detail than in the final version in the book. For example the scarf is red and not blue, the boy looks slightly lighter in skin tone in my version, and the pot is better finished in the final version.

I bought it from a seller who sells old prints and watercolours, and he bought it at an antique shop in Wiltshire. I just liked the detail and the level of skill, then realised when I got home it was from Aesop's fables. This is not a book plate but a pen and ink original. No matter who it is I really like it...: )

If anyone can help, this would be appreciated.

Mrz. 5, 2011, 6:05pm

Can you send a link where we can see it? and/or, the monogram?

Rackham DID occasionally use his initials early on. He sort of ran the A and the R together, they shared a common vertical line.

It sounds like it could possibly be a copy made by an "aspiring" artist, who might have liked Rackham's work enough to faithfully reproduce one, then signing their own initials. This is a common enough practice for art training, and was more so 100 years ago. I'd still like a look though.

Jeff A. Menges
The Arthur Rackham Treasury
Rackham's Fairy Tale Illustrations
Rackham's Fairies, Elves and Goblins