Saturday, 4 October 2014

Monogram of William Harry Rogers

 There are quite a few sources on the web for this artist.

See my article on his cover designs at The Victorian Web

 See also Willam Gibbs Rogers: the woodcarver's children.
This includes a picture, presumably of William Harry Rogers, but does not state the provenance for the photograph.

There is almost certainly a portrait photograph of Rogers in the album of his work housed at the Victoria and Albert Musem, London

William Harry Rogers signed his work regularly. As far as I know, he always used his full initials "WHR".

He designed the cover for the Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue of the 1851 Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations.

 For many of the pages of this work, Rogers drew the header and the capital letters, as we see in the example below.

Rogers habitually "hid" his monogram within the decoration. Normallly, the "W" is above the conjoined "HR"

Rogers provided the illustrations throughout Spiritual Conceits, 1862. He also provided the cover design for this work and his monogram is blocked on the spine.

  Emblems of Christian Life is essentially a re-issue of Spiritual Conceits, probably published in 1871. The book is the same apart from the title page. The last page prints ornament of a Christian kind, together with the monograms of Rogers, and of Joseph Swain.

Rogers had an opportunity to devise comic illustrations for the front cover and for all of the illlustrations inside of A bushel of merry-thoughts.Sampson, Low, 1868. You can see Rogers's monogram towards the bottom left hand corner.

Most unusually, the cover design is described in verse by Rogers:

A bushel of Merry Thoughts – over they go!
Just look on our book-cover, - isn’t it so?

The basket’s upset, and you’ll find, when you’ve been to it,
More fun than you’d think ever could be got into it.
Young chicks and jugged hare tumble out in a group
For the ogre, as soon as he’s finished his soup;
And Next, over-head, comes a dear little girl,
That the Marquis of Cobweb claws up by the curl,
As she, pretty darling, is teaching to fly
The unlikeliest bird ever hatched in a stye.
But now starts an animal stranger than any –
A lobster, with claws and enormous antennae,
Who makes his own salad (he’s grown so obedient),
Tho’ he knows his own body’s choicest ingredient.
And lastly comes galloping out in a flurry,
(It’s hunger I think, that induces such hurry),
In the loudest of trowser that ever were built,
A roebuck that’s given up wearing the kilt.
That’s all, little friend, so I’ll bid you adieu,
With a bumper for Busch, and good wishes for you.
W. H. R.”

 Rogers also signed the title page and the end page of the story in this work, entitled:  Cat and Mouse

This work is fully described in the British Library database of bookbindings.

For Frank Lydon's Fairy Mary's Dream, 1870, Rogers provided a monogram with an elongated serif for the "W", as we see below.


There are plenty more examples of Rogers's cover designs in the British Library database of bookbindings . Go to the home page, key in William Harry Rogers in the search box and look at the entries.

Edmund M B King

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