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Archive of London Artist, Norman Walker James, Featuring a Notable Project Undertaken for Belgian Royalty, a Historic Emblem of the Kingsbury Parade of Shops in London.
Ypres, circa 1925-1945., London - Archive of London Artist, featuring a tribute to king of Belgium; comprises 5 published book dustjackets for notable authors, 2 bookplate designs, 11 heraldic arms of the British monarchy and the Royal Armed Forces, 30 hand-drawn and coloured Oxford coat of arms, 21 unique greeting cards, 7 photographs, and a few other items pertaining to publications and to colleges. Artworks and photographs range in size, the smallest measuring approximately 8 x 11 cm and the largest measuring 20 x 25 cm. With the exception of the greeting cards and bookplates, all other works are mounted to large cardstock leafs measuring approximately 29 x 35 cm. Two series of works are accompanied by typescript descriptions; one is accompanied by a facsimile letter from the College of Arms in London. The lot in very good condition, providing insight into the works of an all but forgotten London-based commercial artist who was active before and during the Second World War. Norman Walker James (1886-1963) was a commercial artist and designer established in London from about 1910-1911. He is listed as a Decorative Designer residing at a boarding house in Kensington, in the 1911 census. Although little-known today, he evidently rose to some acclaim in his trade, as he was selected to design a memorial tablet for Belgian King Albert I. Born in Leicester, he was the son of a congregational minister. The present archive consists of an artist's own retained copies of his work, which form a fascinating portfolio of a man who was notable and active, not long ago from the 1920s into at least the 1940s, and yet seems to be vanished into obscurity. His undertakings and contracts connected him to Belgian royalty, notable publishers, and administrators of renowned college institutions. Especially interesting are the items pertaining to his contribution to a memorial located in the Sint-Maartenskathedraal in Ypres [St Martin's Cathedral re-built in 1930] , including a photograph of the tablet designed by James and accompanied by his design description, two coats of arms printed true-to-size as they would be on the tablet, as well as two rare large press photographs of its unveiling on 21 May 1938. The tablet served to honour Albert I King of Belgium together with the British Armed Forces for the gift of the exquisite rose stained glass window mounted above the south transept door. James designed the nine-foot tall tablet, on which he hand painted the inscription, and which was unveiled by King Leopold III. It featured the coat of arms of Albert I, as well as the Arms of the British Army, the RAF and the Dragoon Guards. Some of James' dustjacket designs retained here include: Commodore Anson's Voyage Into the South Seas and Around the World, by Boyle T. Somerville, published in 1934; The Recollections of Sir Henry Dickens, published in 1934; The Daughters of George III, by Dorothy Margaret Stuart, published in 1939; War & Peace, by Leo Tolstoy, published in 1942 (Also with original book boards); The Heart of Jade, by Salvador de Madariaga, published in 1944. Other book and publishing related designs include: Four photographs showing the dedication leafs and front boards of a book issued by Great Britain's Postal Administration to commemorate the tricentennial anniversary of Norway's postal service and to celebrate the two nations' collaboration in a Universal Postal Union; A front wrapper for a 1934 issue of "Paris Salon Illustrated" magazine for artists. On two leafs are mounted 30 hand coloured drawings of heraldic shields, being the Arms of the University of Oxford, and twenty-nine of its colleges or halls, some examples of which include Pembroke College, St. John's College, Jesus College, Queens College, Magdalen College, and Campion Hall. A ticket of R. P. Gossop Limited stamped "Norman James" reveals a connection to the agency. [Reginald Percy Gossop (1876-1951) was a commercial artist specializing in graphic and landscape art, and is best remembered for designing p
      [Bookseller: Voyager Press Rare Books & Manuscripts]
Last Found On: 2017-10-24           Check availability:      AbeBooks    


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