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Illustration - <u>Hey Diddle Diddle</u>

Hey Diddle Diddle

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cubitt, Edith Alice (artist)
    Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink and watercolour on card

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Ernest Nister (1842-1909) began his publishing career in 1885 when he acquired a lithographic workshop in Nürnberg and printed books for London publishers. In 1888 he became a publisher in his own right with offices at 24 St. Bride Street, London. He appointed the writer and editor, Robert Ellice Mack, as director.

Nister specialised in high quality colour printing for children in the last quarter of the 19th century. Movable books with various mechanisms became his speciality after 1890 (when be published his first stand-up book) but he also produced numerous picture books, annuals, poetry, nursery rhymes, calendars and greetings cards. He worked with a core of writers, including Clifton Bingham and Robert Ellice Mack, and illustrators, in particular Eveline Lance, Harriett M. Bennett, Edith A. Cubitt and Rosa Petherick.

This illustration was published by Nister in his untearable book, Nursery Rhymes and Pictures (no. 870a), printed in Bavaria and published in New York by E. P. Dutton & Co.

Physical description

Pen and ink and watercolour drawing on stiff card depicting the nursery rhyme, 'Hey diddle diddle'. In the foreground a cat dressed in a blue coat and striped trousers plays a fiddle; the cat's hat sits upside-down at its feet. On the right, a dish and spoon hold hands and a black dog dressed in red and yellow and wearing a blue hat laughs and claps its hands. In the distance a cow jumps over a smiling moon. Signed by the illustrator in the bottom right corner. Mounted on card.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca.1900 (made)


Cubitt, Edith Alice (artist)
Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink and watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

Signed by the artist on the bottom right corner of the drawing

Bookplate on verso reads: 'From the Library of Anne Renier and F.G. Renier'

Initialled by Anne Renier in ink on verso: 'AR'

Inscribed in ink on verso: 'E.A. Cubitt'

Inscribed in blue crayon on verso: '24 / 8325 / XXIV' and '12/12' ('54' crossed out)


Height: 325 mm Mount, Width: 363 mm Mount

Object history note

Drawn by Edith A. Cubitt for an Ernest Nister publication, ca.1900. Bequeathed to the V&A in 1970 by Anne and Fernand G. Renier as part of the Renier Collection.

Descriptive line

Watercolour drawing by Edith A. Cubitt, ca.1900; commissioned by Ernest Nister.


Card; Watercolour; Pen and ink



Subjects depicted

Dish; Spoons; Moon; Fiddles; Cats; Dogs (animals); Cows


Drawings; Illustration; Books; National Art Library

Production Type



National Art Library

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