Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

'Picking the ripe apples'

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1905 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Lance, Eveline (artist)
    Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    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 Harriett M. Bennett, Edith A. Cubitt and Rosa Petherick.

This illustration by Eveline (or Evelyn) Lance appears alongside a poem entitled 'Apples' by C.B. (possibly Clifton Bingham) in Nister's Holiday Annual for 1905 (no.1140a), edited by Alfred C. Playne and published in London by Ernest Nister and in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing on card of a boy and girl sitting in a tree. The girl wearing white on the left of the drawing holds an apple in her left hand. The boy wearing blue sits a little higher on the right of the drawing and reaches out to pick an apple with his right hand. Mounted on card.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


1905 (made)


Lance, Eveline (artist)
Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

Initialled by the artist on the lower part of the tree trunk in the drawing: 'EL'

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

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

Inscribed in pencil on verso: 'In the orchard'

Inscribed in pencil on verso: 'E Lance'

Inscribed in blue crayon on verso: '8455 XXIV', '69' and '12/12'


Height: 315 mm Mount, Width: 254 mm Mount

Object history note

Drawn by Eveline Lance in 1905 for Ernest Nister. Bequeathed to the V&A in 1970 by Anne and Fernand G. Renier as part of the Renier Collection.

Descriptive line

Watercolour drawing by Eveline Lance, 1905; commissioned by Ernest Nister.


Watercolour; Card



Subjects depicted

Orchards; Boys; Apple tree; Girls; Apples


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

Production Type



National Art Library

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.