Featured W Print
Cosmic microwave background, WMAP image
Cosmic microwave background. WMAP (Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe) spacecraft whole sky image of cosmic microwave background. This map indicates that the age of the universe is around 13.7 billion years and that the universe is expanding at a rate of about 71 kilometres per second per megaparsec (1 Mpc = 3262 light years). The colours represent the varying densities of the early universe as it was about 380, 000 years after its formation. The denser regions (red, yellow) formed the seeds of galaxies and other structures. The WMAP sky survey commenced on 11th February 2003. This 5-year WMAP image was produced on 28th February 2008
© Nasa/Wmap Science Team/Science Photo Library
Featured W Print
First Christmas Card by Sir Henry Cole and John Horsley
Reputedly the first Christmas card, this was designed by Horsley in 1843, and a coloured version sent out by Sir Henry Cole in 1846.
Commissioned by Sir Henry Cole and illustrated by John Callcott Horsley in London on 1 May 1843. The central picture shows three generations of a family raising a toast to the card's recipient: on either side are charity scenes including food and clothing being given to the poor. Allegedly the image of the family drinking wine together proved controversial, but the idea was shrewd: Cole had helped introduce the Penny Post three years earlier. Two batches totaling 2, 050 cards were printed and sold that year for a shilling each, and of those just a dozen are known to have survived.
We are offering reproduction prints of the original design. In 2001 an original version sold for a record 22, 500 pounds sterling at auction in Devizes, Wiltshire, England. After attracting bids from collectors in Britain and America, it eventually sold for the record-breaking price.
The auctioned card was especially sought after because it was sent by Sir Henry to his grandmother and aunt, and signed by the great Victorian.
John Callcott Horsley was an English painter, illustrator, and designer. Born in London on 29 January 1817, he was the grand-nephew of the English landscape painter Sir Augustus Callcott. His sister, Mary Elizabeth Horsley, was the wife of the famous British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel.
Horsley studied painting at the Royal Academy where he met the painter Thomas Webster. His paintings were largely of historical subjects set in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, influenced by the Dutch masters Pieter de Hooch and Vermeer. From 1875 to 1897, Horsley was a rector and treasurer of the Royal Academy. Because he was strictly against nude models he earned the nickname "Clothes-Horsley".
Cole is credited with devising the concept of sending greeting cards at Christmas time
© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10021527
Featured W Print
'The Lake District for Holidays', LMSR poster, 1930s
Poster produced for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway (LMSR), promoting rail travel to the Lake District. The poster shows a view of Grasmere, with a view across a lake to some hills, peaks and foliage in the background. There are three people in a small rowing boat on the lake. Artwork by Norman Wilkinson, who studied art at Portsmouth and Southsea Schools of Art. A famous marine painter, he designed posters for the London & North Western Railway (LNWR), the London & Midlands Railway (LMR) and Southern Railway (SR) and organised the Royal Academy series of posters for the London & Midlands Railway (LMR) in 1924
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