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Little Miss Muffet

  • 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, Little Miss Muffet. A little girl wearing a white and red dress and wearing a white and red hat and red stockings sits underneath a tree eating from a large yellow bowl on her lap. A doll sits on the grass beside the girl. A spider has lowered itself next to the girl on her left. A pink flowering bush is behind the girl on the other side of the tree and in the distance on the right is a house with a red roof. Signed by the artist 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 pencil on verso: 'AR'

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

Inscribed in blue crayon on verso: '8320 XXIV', '14' and '12/12'


Height: 343 mm Mount, Width: 382 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

Dolls; Girls; Bowls (vessels)


Drawings; Illustration; Children & Childhood; Books; Dolls & Toys; National Art Library

Production Type



National Art Library

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