Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918!
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Darvill's Rare Prints is pleased to offer a huge selection of original H.K. Browne ("Phiz") prints from various Charles Dickens publications.

The prints below are from Dickens' "Pickwick Papers" which was released in parts between March, 1836 and October, 1837.

Pickwick began with illustrations by Robert Seymour. After completing illustrations for the second monthly installment, Seymour committed suicide. The search began for a new illustrator and Robert W. Buss was hired. The Buss illustrations for the third monthly installment did not please Dickens or his publishers and another artist, Hablot Knight Browne was hired. Browne took the nickname Phiz to complement Dickens' Boz and the two became fast friends. Phiz went on to illustrate Dickens' works for 23 years.

These are original prints over 170 years old, not reproductions.
Page size is approximately 5 3/8 x 8 1/4 inches.
There may be some damp staining or foxing on the prints due to their age,
so please have a look at the provided enlargements
by clicking on the thumbnails below.

We have many more prints by Phiz...
please see the Satire/Humor page by clicking here.

H.K. Browne, also known as Phiz

 

Background:

Dickens worked in close collaboration with his illustrators, supplying them with an overall summary of the work at the outset for the cover illustration which was printed on heavy colored stock, usually green, which served as a wrapper for each of the monthly parts. Dickens briefed the illustrator on plans for each month's installment so that work on the two illustrations could begin before he wrote them.

This close working relationship with his illustrators is important to readers of Dickens today. The illustrations give us a glimpse of the characters as Dickens described them to the illustrator and approved when the drawing was finished. Film makers still use the illustrations as a basis for characterization, costume, and set design in the dramatization of Dickens' works.

 

When Robert Seymour committed suicide after the second installment of Pickwick the author and his publishers needed a new illustrator. Artists such as John Leech, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Robert W. Buss were considered but the man selected was Hablot Knight Browne who had done some work for Chapman and Hall earlier and had worked with Dickens on a recent pamphlet.

Browne and Dickens developed an excellent working relationship and Browne took the nickname Phiz to complement Dickens' Boz. Browne would go on to illustrate Dickens' work for 23 years, ten of Dicken's novels were illustrated by Phiz. Browne's comic/satiric style of illustration did not fit well with Dickens' later, more serious, novels and after the somewhat disappointing illustrations for A Tale of Two Cities, he never worked for Dickens again.

Phiz and Emblematic Detail
In the background of many of the Phiz illustrations of Dickens' novels the illustrator introduces details that help to interpret what is happening in the story. Some of these emblematic details are rather obvious and some are more subtle. Michael Steig, in his book Dickens and Phiz, argues effectively that, although Dickens gave detailed instructions as to the content of the illustrations, many of the emblematic details in the illustrations were added by Phiz on his own.

An excellent source of information about Dickens illustrators (including the above) can be found here.

 


The pugnacious cabman

The pugnacious cabman.
(by Robert Seymour, not Phiz)

 


The dying Clown

The dying Clown.
(by Robert Seymour, not Phiz)

$35

 


The Election at Eatanswill

The Election at Eatanswill.

 


Mrs. Leo Hunter's Fancy-dress dejeuné

Mrs. Leo Hunter's Fancy-dress dejeuné

 


The last visit of Heyling to the old man

The last visit of Heyling to the old man.

$25

 


Job Trotter encounters Sam in Mr. Muzzle's kitchen

Job Trotter encounters Sam
in Mr. Muzzle's kitchen.

(foxed plate)


The first interview with Mr. Sergeant Snubbin

The first interview with
Mr. Sergeant Snubbin.

 


Conviviality at Bob Sawyer's

Conviviality at Bob Sawyer's.

 


The Warden's Room

The Warden's Room.


Discovery of Jingle in the Fleet

Discovery of Jingle in the Fleet.

 


Mr. Weller and his friends drinking to Mr. Pell

Mr. Weller and his friends
drinking to Mr. Pell.

 


The ghostly passengers in the ghost of a mail

The ghostly passengers
in the ghost of a mail.

 


Mr. Bob Sawyer's mode of travelling

Mr. Bob Sawyer's mode of travelling.

(one fox mark)

Many more HK Brown "Phiz" prints on the Humor and Satire page