This meticulously handled engraving reflects elements of the early work of Robin Tanner, such as his Christmas card for 1930 and it is clear from other engravings by Lawrence Josset that he and Tanner overlapped to some considerable extent in their seasonal designs of this nature. A particularly fine signed proof impression printed on firm wove paper and with pronounced platemark. The style of paper used has allowed Josset to increase the printing pressure of the press to bring out every detail of the fine workmanship in this intricate engraving.
Lawrence Josset, like William Blake, was a professional engraver by trade who engraved the designs of other artists, mostly in the demanding medium of mezzotint. However, like his famous predecessor, he created a small body of printed works of his own designs, made purely for personal satisfaction, through which he expressed his own artistic intent. These exquisite engravings reflect the teaching of Robert Sargent Austin but show overtones of Stanley Anderson’s engravings and follow the tradition of English pastoral art which stretched from William Blake and Samuel Palmer to Paul Drury and Robin Tanner. These carefully observed pastoral scenes, often imbued with spiritual overtones, display a precision and patience which is characteristic of Lawrence Josset’s printed works. The majority of these engravings were never released in any formal editions, having been made without commercial intent, purely for enjoyment and as gifts for friends, sometimes being used as greetings cards. All are now rare, having been produced in very small numbers, their circulation limited exclusively to Lawrence Josset’s closest friends.
Josset studied at Bromley School of Art and subsequently in the School of Engraving at the Royal College of Art, where he was taught by Robert Sargent Austin and Malcolm Osborne. He also worked for a year at Waterlow’s, the banknote engravers. After a brief spell of teaching, he embarked on what was to be a freelance career spanning more than 60 years. A quiet and unassuming man, Lawrence Josset was hopelessly un-commercial in nature and came to rely upon his habitual printer, Alfred Pomeroy, head of the London plate printing firm Thomas Ross & Son, to negotiate on his behalf. Josset’s most celebrated work is his mezzotint engraving of Pietro Annigoni’s portrait painting of the Queen, published in 1957 and hand-printed in colour by Thomas Ross & Son. During the Second World War Josset worked in the Army Camouflage Unit at Farnham Castle. Subsequently, he settled in the Kent village of Detling where he continued his work as an engraver until his sight began to fail a couple of years before his death.
On firm cream wove paper with full margins. Excellent original condition. Image surface excellent.