Hamlet poster design by J and W Beggarstaff, the Beggarstaffs

Catalogue Raisonné


1a [Comp for Hamlet poster (1A), 1894]

Four-color hand cut paper stencil and hand-painting on grey-brown wrapping paper: pale grey, buff, brown and black. Denham: William Nicholson and James Pryde (The Beggarstaff Brothers), 1894. Signed lower left: J. W. Beggarstaff. Denham Uxbridge. 28 7/8 " w. x 67 3/8 " h. (73,4 cm w. x 171,2 cm h.)

The original maquette, or comprehensive presentation sketch (also known as a “comp” in advertising & design), was created by Nicholson and Pryde at their studio, Eight Bells in Uxbridge. A bold, silhouetted image of simple colored paper, cut out and glued to a large roll of craft wrapping paper, this poster design was unlike any of its contemporaries. The artists thought it would stand out from the clutter of busy post-Victorian designs so popular at the time.

Ref: Campbell 1a.

Original poster design comp.
Poster, first version.
Maitres de l’Affiche reproduction.
Poster, variant.

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