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Framed Pictures, Canvas Prints
Posters & Jigsaws since 2004
 

Cole Gallery

Available as Framed Prints, Photos, Wall Art and Gift Items

Choose from 70 pictures in our Cole collection for your Wall Art or Photo Gift. Popular choices include Framed Prints, Canvas Prints, Posters and Jigsaw Puzzles. All professionally made for quick delivery.


First Christmas Card by Sir Henry Cole and John Horsley Featured 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

The Dreadnought Hoax, report in The Sketch Featured Print

The Dreadnought Hoax, report in The Sketch

Page from The Sketch magazine reporting on the Dreadnought hoax. The incident was a joke played by a group led by Horace de Vere Cole, including the writer Virginia Stephen (Woolf, seen far left in the bottom picture) who dressed up as the Emperor of Abyssinia and his party, and turned up out of the blue to inspect the battleship 'Dreadnought'. The group were 'received with the usual courtesies accorded to distinguished visitors, and were shown over the vessel.' The Dreadnought hoax was not the first time this group had played the joke. The top photograph shows the Abyssinian princes on an occasion when they visited the Mayor of Cambridge as the Sultan of Zanzibar and his suite. Date: 1910

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Lloyd George on the Riviera Featured Print

Lloyd George on the Riviera

David Lloyd George, at the time, Chancellor of the Exchequer, with Sir Rufus Isaacs and the Master of Elibank (centre), together with Mr R. Cole and Captain the Hon. Arthur Murray staying in the grounds of Sir Harold Harmsworth's villa at Cap Martin on the French Riviera. Date: 1912

© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans

Arthur, Cap, Chancellor, Cole, David, Elibank, Exchequer, French, George, Harmsworth, Isaacs, Lloyd, Mar17, Martin, Master, Murray, Politician, Politicians, Politics, Riviera, Rufus, Villa