[Frederick Burnaby, British traveller and national hero.] Engraving by Elizabeth Adela Forbes, of a drawing of Burnaby by Mary Blanchard Reed, signed by both women ('Mary B Reed' and 'Elizabeth A. Armstrong').

Frederick Burnaby [Frederick Gustavus Burnaby] (1842-1885), soldier, traveller and balloonist; Elizabeth Adela Forbes [née Armstrong] (1859-1912), Canadian artist; Mary Blanchard Reed; Sidney Redrup
Publication details: 
'London Published July 8th. 1885 by Sidney Redrup. 175. New Bond Street. Copyright Registered.'
SKU: 22408

See the Oxford DNB entry on Burnaby ('He was commemorated in verse, song, and Staffordshire pottery'). The National Portrait Gallery, which does not have a copy of the present item among its ten portraits of him, states: 'Burnaby's exploits as a cavalry officer and explorer captured every schoolboy's imagination; over six feet four inches tall, he was reputed to be the strongest man in the British Army; his books about his adventures, including A Ride to Khiva, 1876, and On Horseback through Asia Minor, 1877, were bestsellers; in 1885 he took part in the relief expedition to Khartoum in the Sudan, and died from a spear wound.' The present item is a drypoint etching on 41 x 29 cm piece of thick laid paper. Plate dimensions: 29 x 20 cm. Print dimensions: 28.5 x 19 cm. In fair condition, on lightly discoloured and spotted paper. Engraved along head of plate: 'London Published July 8th. 1885 by Sidney Redrup. 175. New Bond Street. Copyright Registered.' Engraved at bottom left: 'NOV 1884', and towards bottom right: 'Mary Reed.' Large facsimile of Burnaby's signature above date at bottom right: 'Fred Burnaby | R H Gds'. The artist was Mary Blanchard Reed (1867-1953) and the engraver Elizabeth Adela Armstrong [the future Elizabeth Adela Forbes], the latter a noted Canadian painter and friend of Whistler and Sickett. The two women have signed in pencil below the plate: the artist 'Mary B Reed' at left, and the engraver 'Elizabeth A. Armstrong' at right. The portrait is bust-length, and shows a bareheaded moustachioed Burnaby in shirt and tie and fur-collared coat, body slightly turned to the right, holding a newspaper in his right hand. As already noted, not among the ten portraits of Burnaby in the National Portrait Gallery collection. The British Museum has a copy (Museum No. 1916,0524.2), which was donated by Leggatt Brothers in 1916.