Monday, 15 May 2017

Susan B Pearse: Perfect Little Works of Art

Today I’m sharing more images from an album or possibly a book of *samples, which would have been carried by a salesman. What little I know about the images, and the album will be found here. I was very happy to acquire this, but it seems a shame to leave it hidden away hence I’m sharing it with you. I really hope you enjoy these ‘perfect little works of art’ as much as I do.  

All of today’s images are by Susan Beatrice Pearse (1878 – 1980)

Pearse Susan B, Photochrome Company Limited,
Images by Susan B Pearse Reference numbers D. 5331 to D. 5336
Susan B. Pearse was a British painter and illustrator born on the 19th January 1878 in Kennington, South London. She was the daughter of the journalist, William Pearse. Though educated at King Edward’s School, Southwark, she spent much of her childhood in Fair Oak, near Eastleigh, Hampshire. She studied at New Cross Art School and the Royal College of Art. While at the RCA, she met the portrait painter, Walter Ernest Webster and they married in Fulham in 1919. Her later years were spent at Blewbury, Berkshire a village then popular with authors and artist. She died on the 3rd January 1980, 18 days before her 102nd birthday. Best known as a book illustrator Susan also created drawings for postcards and greeting cards. Her other illustrative work included contributions to Arthur Mee’s Children’s Encyclopaedia and an advertising campaign for Start-rite Shoes.
Sources;
The Dictionary of British Women Artists. Gray, Sara. Lutterworth Press, 2009.


Morning Walk D. 5333 (top row) colour image found at Bonhams

A larger version of one of the images from the album (above)

Where are they?  D. 5332 (top row) colour image found on Pinterest

Pearse Susan B, Photochrome Company Limited,
Images by Susan B Pearse Reference numbers D. 5161 to D. 5166
The album pages (above and below) show a series of numbered images. My assumption is these were used as birthday cards or perhaps to illustrate a counting book. 

Pearse Susan B, Photochrome Company Limited,
Images by Susan B Pearse Reference numbers D. 5167 to D. 5172

The Number 3 in colour (image Pinterest


Pearse Susan B, Photochrome Company Limited,
Images by Susan B Pearse Reference numbers D. 5301 to D. 5306
The images above tell the story of the birth of the Baby Jesus. Were they used to illustrate a book or a series of postcards / Christmas cards? If you know, please get in touch, either by leaving a comment or sending an email (link in right-hand column), thank you.  

Massive thanks are due to everyone who responded to my last ‘perfect little works of art’ post. Most of the places in the images by Fred Taylor have been identified. I’ve also received lots of very useful information from a relative of J. Francis Smith, and have amended the post accordingly. You can see all the changes here.

*Salesman samples are scaled-down versions of real products used to demonstrate features to retailers or potential customers. Also known as salesmen samples or salesman’s samples, these miniature goods were popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as they were easily transportable by travelling salespeople and allowed dealers to display a variety of items in their showrooms. Read More Collectors Weekly.com

Images previously shared
Phyllis Purser; here
Fred Taylor; here
J. Francis Smith; here

61 comments:

  1. The illustrations are beautiful and precious. Sorry I cannot respond to your question, though.

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    1. Hello Linda, answering the question is not compulsory; it’s just lovely to have a visit from you. :-)
      Enjoy your week.

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  2. Oh, OH BARBARA! Each image is a treasure, and as I look at each one, I am literally sighing and smiling, chuckling as well. The one with the little child hugging the donkey, THAT'S ME! And number THREE makes me want to go back and be three again, under the sunny skies of my parents' love. Dear friend, these are a treasure!

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    1. Thank you so much Anita, I’m enjoying sharing the images, but I do worry my lovely friends, and blog readers will get tired of seeing them.
      I just knew you would be hugging the donkey (because so would I!)
      It would be wonderful to be three again, with the wisdom we have now. I would bask in the love from my mum and dad and probably appreciate it much more than I once did.

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  3. Oh how I love these images! All so perfect in their own way. My favorite is Morning Walk although my buggy would have had a cat instead of a dog in it. :-) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I’m so pleased you like them Beth Ann. I remember pushing our cat ‘Kosset’ (named after the carpets) around in a pram too. More recently it was our elderly dog, but we felt a little silly while doing it. :)

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  4. Firstly, l'd like to say..I'm very impressed
    by the images! Especially the religious ones!
    As an 'old' Catholic, and being raised in the
    Catholic Faith, HeHe! Mia Mama..She wanted me
    to be a priest! Just think..I could have been
    Pope, by now...A Pink Pope!!! :))).
    And, l still have my Bible and Daily Missal and
    Manual...1954...As l always say.."I'm not a
    practicing Catholic..I'm very good at it". :).

    Seriously though..My Bible and Daily Missal, are
    full of 'Imagini' (Images)..of Jesus, Mary, and
    the Saints...These are painted images on paper
    mostly 4x2 inches! I also have about 200 images,
    stored away in an envelope, that belong to Mia
    Mama...And, ALL blessed over the years, by Bishops,
    Cardinals, and Priests! And, a few by various Popes.
    But, these images were for Bibles, Holy/Prayer books
    and used as markers!

    So, l can imagine those images being used for cards...
    Christmas..Easter..Birthday...In Italy, especially
    Sicily, holy days are celebrated with images of saints,
    and not so much with Daddy Christmas, Reindeer etc.....
    God and the saints are revered more than commercial images!

    Lovely post Barbara...I've come over ALL religious...Now!
    Where was l..Oh! Yes!
    Our Father, Who Art In Heave..Hallowed...!!! :).

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    1. Hello Willie, thank you for leaving such an interesting comment. You would have made a wonderful priest it’s something to do with the smile in your eyes. Did you see Second Chance Summer filmed in Tuscany? If so you might know what I mean, the priest in that had such lovely smiley eyes I would tell him anything and probably everything!

      I’ve still got some of the old religious markers my gran used in her bible and a few from my own childhood. I had forgotten them until you mentioned them, I must look them out. Goodness knows what we will do with all this ‘stuff’ if we ever move into an old folks flat/home.

      I’m really pleased you enjoyed the post Willie because I always enjoy hearing from you. :)

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    2. Go in peace, my child! Go in peace...!
      "And the lord said unto Moses...." :). HeHe!

      I've just Googled Second Chance Summer....
      No! I have'nt seen it..l'll pop back for a
      bit more of a read..! Looks interesting..!

      Oh! I forgot to mention, last month l had a
      bit of a clear out of books, reference books!
      Well..with the internet, did'nt need them any
      more..most l took to the Charity shop, but some,
      l had to put in the recycle wheelie bin, past
      there sale by date, among them was a 10 volume..
      Arthur Mee's set of Encyclopedias..well worn,
      l remember my Dad buying them when l was 5yrs old.
      Volume 10, was well worn, as that was the volume
      with all the maps and index...! Sad to see them go
      really!

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    3. Why thank you kindly, I feel truly blessed. :)

      I really enjoyed Second Chance Summer and wish I had told you about it while it was on. I’m sure you will be able to find it here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08lsz6t
      Hope the link works if not just go to BBC iplayer

      I’m sad about your En cyclopedias, not that they are valuable or anything but just because of the memories they held. I can imagine you as a five-year-old boy perusing the maps and thinking about all the places you would one day visit. xx

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  5. Paper treasures these are. I understand your desire to acquire these love lovely illustrations​...so very charming ๐Ÿ’•

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    1. Hello Jan, my friend was downsizing and wanted to thin out her collections, so I offered to buy these from her. She only agreed on the understanding I would take good care of them and not sell them unless it was back to her! I know it was hard for her to part with them, but I am taking good care of them while enjoying and sharing them.

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  6. Lovely. They look very much like card illustrations. But that is just my humble opinion.

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    1. I think I agree with you Bish, although I keep wavering because I could also see them used as book illustrations. I’m a bit torn but either way they are lovely, and I’m very happy to have them.

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  7. These are such sweet illustrations. I also like Morning Walk for the memories it stirred - my best friend Linda and I walking our newest Christmas dolls and carriages up and down the street. I can still remember the smell of those rubber dolls, it was always like talcum power. What wonderful memories your posts sometimes invokes.

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    1. Hello Alex, I remember that smell too! How extraordinary I hadn’t thought about it for years but reading your words instantly brought it to mind. Your comment has just invoked wonderful memories for me too.

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  8. Some nice details on the pen and ink.

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  9. The world could use more of these beautifully sweet illustrations. They evoke such innocence and joy. We can never have enough of those. Thanks for always making my day brighter.

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    1. That is such a sweet thing to say, thank you. My visits to you always brighten my day too.

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  10. Barbara, dear, please NEVER move into an "old folks home"! All of your lovely books and illustrations will give you pleasure and keep you young at heart for the rest of your life. Your blog never bores or tires me! I am so inspired by you to re-read my favorite books and browse through my own collections. Sending you a big hug!

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    1. Dear Colleen, I’m sure you are right I certainly feel young at heart at the moment and I hope the old folk’s home is a long way off.
      I know life is busy for you just now, but perhaps you will have time to share some of your collections one day. I for one would love to see them. Hugs to you dear friend.

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  11. I grew up with Arthur Mee's Enclopedia (and still resent that the set went to one of my brothers who discarded them). I learnt a lot from them, and loved that they included stories...

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    1. My parents had a set of encyclopaedias on the shelf in our family home. I used to take them down to look at the pictures, but I don’t recall any stories, so I assume they weren’t the Arthur Mee ones. Perhaps I would have enjoyed those more.

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  12. The illustrations take me right back to my childhood, I loved them then nd love them even more now. Thanks for sharing! Hugs, Valerie

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    1. My pleasure Valerie, thanks for coming over and taking a look. Hugs Barbara

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  13. What wonderful illustrations. Glad you shared them with us.

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    1. It’s a pleasure to share them with friends who appreciate them. Thanks for coming over.

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  14. Oh, those illustrations are just beautiful and remind me of childhood days.
    Lovely post Barbara, thank you.

    All the best Jan

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    1. I’m glad to know you enjoyed them Jan, thanks for taking a look and leaving a comment. Barbara.

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  15. Wow! Susan Beatrice Pearse certainly lived a long life! Here work is delightful to look at. They have a familiar look to me, so there is a chance I have seen some of her work before. What treasures!

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    1. Hello Stephanie, you may well have seen her work before because she illustrated lots of children’s books as well as postcards. They are treasures indeed, and I’m glad you enjoyed seeing them. Barbara

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  16. Thanks for sharing these. I love these kinds of images.

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    1. It was my pleasure Jamie, thank you for visiting and leaving a comment. Barbara

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  17. Lovely pictures! I have always loved the Start-Rite poster, which I remember from my childhood. I found this (very old) article about the mystery surrounding who were the original models and who was the illustrator. Did you find out that it definitely by Susan B. Pearse?
    http://www.independent.co.uk/money/in-the-footsteps-of-the-start-rite-twins-who-were-the-models-for-the-famous-footwear-poster-and-who-1538979.html

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    1. Hello Sue,

      Thank you so much for the link, what a fascinating article. I wore Start-Rite shoes throughout my childhood and still remember the novelty of having my feet measured for the first time. I also remember the shoe shop we frequented, but I don’t remember the posters. I do, however, recall the black-and-white adverts in the magazines my mum used to read when I was a little girl. A magazine and a pair of scissors would see me happily occupied for hours! I had a fascination for pretty dresses and shoes, and cut out lots and lots of them over the years.

      I’ve just been looking at a poster online (I can only find one) which to me looks nothing like Susan Beatrice Pearse and nothing like the adverts I recall. I assume there were lots of artists working on the advertising campaigns at different times, and it would be interesting to try to identify some of them.

      The information I shared here came from the Christ Beetles Gallery in London. You can read the complete article by clicking on the link in the above post, but this is the interesting bit;

      Her other illustrative work included contributions to Arthur Mee’s The Children’s Encyclopaedia and a memorable advertising campaign for Start-rite Shoes. She also exhibited watercolours at such leading societies as the Royal Academy, the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours and the Society of Women Artists, and at galleries in Paris and Vienna.

      You’ve set me off on a new quest now Sue. I will be scouring all my old magazines looking for Start-Rite ads.

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    2. I'm now wondering where I remember the poster from. It could be that it was on the wall in the shoe shop in the High Street, or maybe up on billboards or at the railway station. I always thought the Start-Rite twins were the posher, tidier relatives of the Bisto Kids!

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    3. I’ve got no memory of it at all, and yet I do remember the magazine adverts. You are quite right about the Start-Rite twins and the Bisto Kids. I’m willing to bet the Bisto Kids didn’t have a lot of time for the swanky twins! :)

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  18. These are all so sweet. I agree with you, the children with numbers appear to be birthday cards. The shape of the picture seems more like a card than a book. Plus if it were a counting book, wouldn't each picture show the number in items, such as four puppies or five sailboats? The numbers seem to reflect the children's ages with two of each to choose from depending on whether it's a girl or a boy having the birthday. Thanks for sharing Susan's work with us!

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    1. Hi Marcia, you are absolutely right, counting books always follow that format. I should have thought of that, but it certainly makes cards the most likely possibility – now I just have to try to find one or two of them. These quests of mine are never ending, but it’s a great way to spend my retirement. I will never run out of things to do. :)

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    2. Marcia, I’ve only just noticed – the second set of numbered cards are all little girls, while the first set are boys. It might make it easier when I start searching for them. Thanks for all your help, Barbara

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  19. You know, it makes me wonder how many incredible illustrations have been lost through the ages because there was no digital storage system back in the day. Can you imagine?

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    1. I can Crystal, and it makes me quite sad.

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  20. Wonderful work. I so admire artists.
    And 102...Wow.

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    1. So do I Sandra, especially as my drawing/painting skills are non existent.

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  21. Beautiful artwork. And yes, it would be sad if it stays hidden away. I hope lots of people see this post. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love to share! Thanks for coming over and taking a look, Barbara

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  22. These are adorable, Barbara! There was a lot of interaction between children and animals in those days. Everything seemed so sweet. These days, we have more illustrations on interactions between children and dragons. Different flavours for different generations.

    *Speaking of animals and children, I've been hooked on the TV show The Durrells. Do you watch it? It's extremely satisfying!

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    1. Hello lovely Claudine! Another friend was only telling me about The Durrells yesterday, I’ve somehow managed to miss it but will catch up on iplayer.

      You are so right about books, children and dragons! It’s strange because my grand kids don’t have any interest in them at the moment, but perhaps they will when they are a little older.

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  23. Hello dear Barbara! These illustrations are so precious! Your friend is really lucky. I wish somebody offer me these gorgeous vintage like books. I really appreciate you writing a Susan's biography, she is so gifted. I wish you a wonderful weekend ahead :)

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    1. My friend has been a collector all her life and has a house full of beautiful things. Moving to a smaller place meant she had to part with a few of them, but she knows I will look after these, and she can see them whenever she likes.
      Thank you for your kind wishes, have a lovely weekend.

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  24. Oh my goodness, you really do share some of the most cutest things.

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    1. I feel really lucky to have them Tracy so it’s almost my duty to share them. Sharing is fun though and much better than leaving them hidden away.

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  25. These images are so wonderful!! Love them all!!! Beautiful!

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    1. I couldn’t agree more. Susan Pearse was an amazing artist. Thanks for leaving a comment.

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  26. Thank you so much for showing these, Barbara. They're all completely beautiful! ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ’™

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    1. I love them Yvonne, and it’s wonderful having friends to share them with. Thanks for coming over.

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  27. Dear Barbara, these pictures are so adorable. I loved them all. Thanks so much for sharing.

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    1. Thanks so much for coming over to look at them.

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I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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