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PRINT BY: R W Basire
AFTER/ARTIST: T Donaldson
PUBLISHER: Revd Stebbing Shaw
DATE: circa 1800
METHOD: Line engraving
IMAGE SIZE: 10.5 inches by 16.5 inches to plate mark
NOTES: A charming architectural view of Teddesley Hall in Staffordshire, sadly demolished rather a long time ago now in 1954. The building was evidently rather in the Palladian manner, with unusual reverse quadrants connecting the central block to the wings. As well, the lower windows seem to have some curious Gothic tracery glazing bars.
The artist has used a straight-on view of the main facade, but this has led to some problems with the perspective, which it has to be said, he hasn’t quite mastered, but it does give the print a charming naivety. The William Salt Library, Staffs, lists the original watercolour. A wonderful sky above.
The exact architectural history of the building seems obscure. It was either built for or much altered for Sir Edward Littleton (1725 - 1812), circa 1757 to 1759. Some authorities credit the design to the architect William Baker (1705 - 1771). He is noted by Eileen Harris as working on the building c.1757, but she does not credit him with the whole design. Harris also mentions other architects in connection with the house.
This print seems to have been prepared for the Revd Stebbing Shaw in connection with his great work, ‘The History and Antiquities of Staffordshire’, published 1798 - 1801. However, according to ‘The Country House Described’ (V&A 1986), there were a number of plates prepared but not included in the volumes (or possibly prepared after the first volumes, with a view to adding a third?) Certainly this seem like a single print, on an untrimmed sheet of paper and with no sewing holes, as often found on prints issued in groups.
The plate maker is shown as ‘R W Basire’. Many of the plates listed for the ‘History and antiquities’ are credited to R W Basire. The Basire family of plate makers ran through several generations, but were all called James. With such a distinctive surname, it seems unlikely that this plate maker was not connected to the Basire family.
A lovely print, if you live in this part of the world. Also of canal interest, as Sir Edward’s descendent, the first Lord Hatherton was involved in canal building in the area.
CONDITION: Very good, on wove paper, good margins, a little very light foxing, but not showing.
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