This is a rare lithograph by the sought after British artist, John Copley.
It comes from a very small edition of only 25 impressions issued, and dates to the year 1914.
It is entitled Nativity and shows the Three Wise Men arriving with gifts to present to the baby Jesus.
The image has been made in lithograph and is pencil signed.
John Copley was born in Manchester in 1875 and was a most accomplished British printmaker - he made over 400 prints - mostly lithographs and etchings. His work was influenced by the work of the Victorian artist Ford Madox Brown.
He trained at the Manchester School of Art before moving to London to study at the Royal Academy.
Copley was a founder member of the Senefelder Club which was established to publicize and promote lithography as an artistic medium, He served as its honorary secretary from 1910 to 1916.
He printed the majority of his lithographs himself, often with the assistance of his wife, Ethel Gabain. He regarded the inking and printing of the stone as a continuation of the creative process
This is a hard-to-source early lithograph by Copley. It shows a Christmas or Nativity scene - three exotic Eastern kings arrive at the stable where Joseph, Mary, and the Baby Jesus are staying. They carry tall flag poles with fluttering pennants and lay their gifts at the feet of the baby. A procession is shown through the window it is winding its way forward towards the stable.
I love the addition of the little birds perched in the stable rafters and watching the scene. Given the date of this print - 1914 - has Copley included these to represent doves of peace. All the figures are typical of Copley's elongated forms - and you can certainly see the influence of Madox Brown on his art in this biblical subject, especially in the grouping and placing of the figures.
This print is being sold unframed but with a new window mount all ready for you to frame.
The image size is 35.5 x 32 cm
It is very rare and not many impressions now survive - there seems not even to be an example in the collection of the British Museum Print Room.
Sadly - the lithograph has a little condition issue - and it has a little bit of spotting here and there to the sheet - the spotting is confined in the main to the sheet margins and the worst of it would be hidden by a new close-cropped window mount - there are a few tiny spots to the white background area behind the Kings - and a little rippling of the sheet to the top left-hand corner - but again all will look fine with a new window mount and when framed. These are all photographed for your inspection.
Probably a print which is more for the specialist print collector - or someone who collects Copley works.
The price is a fair one - and it takes into account the condition issues as mentioned above.
UK Postage will be with Royal Mail Special Next Day Delivery - this will be a tracked and insured service and applied at check out.