Coster from "London Types" by William Newzam Prior Nicholson

Coster from London Types by William Newzam Prior Nicholson

Coster from "London Types"

William Newzam Prior Nicholson

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Coster from "London Types"

transfer lithograph with hand coloring 
Image Size
10 x 9" image 
Edition Size
printed quartorzain "Rotten Row" by William Ernest Henley on verso 
cream wove 
William Heinemann, London, as part of the Popular Edition of "London Types" 
Inventory ID

An image from a series of thirteen plates from Nicholson's "London Types" with quatorzains by William Ernest Henley.

A fashionable woman stands with hand on hip, looking over her shoulder at the viewer. In the background, a man in a striped shirt leans against a donkey and keeps an eye on his cart full of vegetables and fruits. The man is a “coster” or a costermonger, a loose translation of the medieval word “costard,” meaning apple, and monger, meaning broker.

On the verso of this piece is typed the phrase “Rotten Row,” referring to a broad track in Hyde Park that was popular with the upper class in the 18th and 19th centuries. Like a promenade, it was a place to “seen”. It should be noted that the coster in this image uses a drawn cart and not just a wire basket; this indicates his place in the upper hierarchy of the costers.

In William Nicholson’s series “London Types,” he illustrates the intersection of upper and lower classes in the 1890s, with particular regard to regional stereotypes that may no longer exist or have relevancy, making the images a time capsule in and of themselves. Williamson often centers the working man at his job with the contrast of monied figures interacting with him or walking by in the background. While at the time these images were seen as promoting or celebrating this hierarchy, it has since been interpreted as something more tongue-in-cheek.

Please call us at 707-546-7352 or email to purchase this item.