Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918! Darvill's Rare Prints, fine antique prints and rare maps since 1918!
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H.K. Browne, also known as Phiz

 

Background:

Dickens worked in close collaboration with his illustrators, supplying them with an overall summary of the work at the outset for the cover illustration which was printed on heavy colored stock, usually green, which served as a wrapper for each of the monthly parts. Dickens briefed the illustrator on plans for each month's installment so that work on the two illustrations could begin before he wrote them.

This close working relationship with his illustrators is important to readers of Dickens today. The illustrations give us a glimpse of the characters as Dickens described them to the illustrator and approved when the drawing was finished. Film makers still use the illustrations as a basis for characterization, costume, and set design in the dramatization of Dickens' works.

 

When Robert Seymour committed suicide after the second installment of Pickwick the author and his publishers needed a new illustrator. Artists such as John Leech, William Makepeace Thackeray, and Robert W. Buss were considered but the man selected was Hablot Knight Browne who had done some work for Chapman and Hall earlier and had worked with Dickens on a recent pamphlet.

Browne and Dickens developed an excellent working relationship and Browne took the nickname Phiz to complement Dickens' Boz. Browne would go on to illustrate Dickens' work for 23 years, ten of Dicken's novels were illustrated by Phiz. Browne's comic/satiric style of illustration did not fit well with Dickens' later, more serious, novels and after the somewhat disappointing illustrations for A Tale of Two Cities, he never worked for Dickens again.

Phiz and Emblematic Detail
In the background of many of the Phiz illustrations of Dickens' novels the illustrator introduces details that help to interpret what is happening in the story. Some of these emblematic details are rather obvious and some are more subtle. Michael Steig, in his book Dickens and Phiz, argues effectively that, although Dickens gave detailed instructions as to the content of the illustrations, many of the emblematic details in the illustrations were added by Phiz on his own.

An excellent source of information about Dickens illustrators (including the above) can be found here.

Darvill's Rare Prints is pleased to offer a huge selection of original H.K. Browne ("Phiz") prints from various Charles Dickens novels as well as other publications.

We believe the prints below are from a compilation of "Phiz" prints published in the 1870s, though we do not know the specific source. Many of the prints are from publications by W.H. Ainsworth, such as Ainsworth's Magazine: a Miscellany of Romance as well as more popular Dickens' novels such as David Copperfield, Bleak House, Nicholas Nickleby, etc..

These are original prints over 130-140 years old, not reproductions.
Page size is approximately 10 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches. The plates were published in the 'chine collé' style (the engraved or etched plate adhered to the backing paper).

There may be some foxing or browning on the prints due to their age, so please have a look at the provided enlargements by clicking on the thumbnails below. Prices reflect any condition issues that may be present.
NOTE: the page is too large to scan entirely, but the margins are full and present.

We have hundreds more prints by Hablot Knight Browne ("Phiz")...
please see the Satire/Humor page by clicking here.

Steerforth and Mr. Mello
Steerforth and Mr. Mello
from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
$15
 
The thriving City of Eden, as it appeared in fact
The thriving City of Eden, as it appeared in fact
from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
$15
 
The Board
The Board
from Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
$15
 
The Grand Court of the ____ Circuit
The Grand Court of the ____ Circuit
from Martin Chuzzlewit (?) by Charles Dickens
$15
 
The Hand-writing
The Hand-writing
from Martin Chuzzlewit (?) by Charles Dickens
$15
 
Very like a ___Madonna
Very like a ___Madonna
from Bleak House by Charles Dickens
$15
 
Miss Jellyby
Miss Jellyby
from Bleak House by Charles Dickens
$15
 
Kate Nickleby sitting to Miss La Creevy
Kate Nickleby sitting
to Miss La Creevy
from Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
$15
 
Nicholas hints at the probability of his leaving the Company
Nicholas hints at the probability of his leaving the Company
from Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
$15
 
The Exhibition
The Exhibition
from Nicholas Nickleby (?) by Charles Dickens
$15
 
[untitled: theatrical production]
[untitled: theatrical production]
from Nicholas Nickleby (?) by Charles Dickens
$15
 
M Polpette at home
M Polpette at home
from The Pottleton Legacy by Albert Smith
$15
 
The little bit of Tape
The little bit of Tape
from The Little Bit of Tape by Richard Johns
$15
 
The Iron-Merchant's Daughter
The Iron-Merchant's Daughter
from The Iron-Merchant's Daughter by W.H. Ainsworth (?)
$15
 
The Tomb of the Rosicrucian
The Tomb of the Rosicrucian
from Auriol; or, The Elixir of Life
by W.H. Ainsworth
$25
 
The mysterious interview in Hyde Park
The mysterious interview
in Hyde Park
from Auriol; or, The Elixir of Life
by W.H. Ainsworth
$25
 
Rougemonts device to perplex Auriol
Rougemont's device to perplex Auriol
from Auriol; or, The Elixir of Life
by W.H. Ainsworth
$20
 
The Compact
The Compact
from Auriol; or, The Elixir of Life
by W.H. Ainsworth
$25
 
The Barber of London
The Barber of London
from Auriol; or, The Elixir of Life
by W.H. Ainsworth
$30
 
Crichton at the gate of the College of Navarre
Crichton at the gate of the College of Navarre
from Crichton by W.H. Ainsworth
$20
 
Presentation of Esclairmonde to Henri III
Presentation of Esclairmonde to Henri III
from Crichton by W.H. Ainsworth
$20
 
Hugh & Barnaby Rudge
Hugh & Barnaby Rudge
from Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens (?)
$20
Fathers and Sons
Fathers and Sons
from Fathers and Sons by Theodore Hook (?)
$25
 
Carlos, finding himself detected, quietly dres out the half suffocated little creature
Carlos, finding himself detected, quietly dres out the half suffocated little creature
from The Spitfire: A tale of the Sea
by Frederick Chalmer
$20
 
Molly sees the Ghost of 'the Master'
Molly sees the Ghost of 'the Master'
from Luttrell of Arran
by Charles Lever
$20
 
 
Hundreds more HK Brown "Phiz" prints on the Humor and Satire page