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John Bastin archive

Call Number: MSS 55

Scope and Contents

The collection comprises proofs for book illustrations engraved on wood by John Bastin. Most of the engravings are India paper proofs, some with manuscript notes, signatures and corrections. The contents include works after the original designs by the foremost book illustrators of the 1840s and 1850s, including Edward Lear (13 prints), John Tenniel (23), J. Bridges, J. Naysmith, F. Pollard, C. Ward, and G.F. Sargent.

Also included in the group are a few proofs for De La Motte Fouqué's illustrated English edition of Undine after drawings by Tenniel. For this work, the Art Union (1847) described Bastin as "one of the best wood engravers of our time, whose productions comprise high finish with artistic skill and matured judgement." Of particular interest are the corrections and notes (in graphite) on some of the proofs. One wood engraving, for example, has the Alpine scenery partly highlighted in white and carries several annotations, such as "this rock is too formal." Other engravings include a number produced for a Great Exhibition publication illustrating glass, ceramic, and metal vases and ornaments.


  • circa 1840-1851


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is unprocessed and may not be available for immediate access.

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is the physical property of the Yale Center for British Art. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund


1 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection comprises proofs for book illustrations engraved on wood by John Bastin.

Guide to the John Bastin archive
In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale Center for British Art, Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

Department of Rare Books and Manuscripts
1080 Chapel Street
P. O. Box 208280
New Haven CT 06520-8280 US


1080 Chapel Street
New Haven , CT 06510

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