Rosey [Hugh Thomson]

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An exceptional pen and ink drawing by Hugh Thomson (1860 - 1920), who is well known for illustrating works by Jane Austin, Charles Dickens and J.M. Barrie.

Hailing from Coleraine, Ireland, Hugh was the son of a tea merchant, John Thomson, and a shopkeeper, Catherine. From an early age, he began perfecting his art and he would often fill his schoolbooks with drawings of horses, dogs and ships.

In this particular illustration, for “By Shore and Sedge” by Bret Harte, an apparition called Rosey turns to face a surprised gentleman. The caption reads: “The figure turned, uttered a little cry and showed the half troubled, half blushing face of Rosey.”

It’s interesting that the character of Rosey may’ve been redrawn after an editing process as it seems that there could be an earlier version underneath the current one.

Set in a nice mount and ready to frame or display as it is.

Pen & Ink
13⅔” x 11½” / 35cm x 29cm
Year of creation
c. 1885
Artist’s auction highlight
£1,600 at Sotheby’s in 2001.