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'My Dolls' Christmas Dinner'

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1900 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Petherick, Rosa C. (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 Eveline Lance, Lizzie Lawson, Harriett M. Bennett, Edith A. Cubitt and Rosa Petherick.

This illustration by Rosa C. Petherick accompanies a story entitled 'The Dolls' Christmas Dinner' by L.L.W. in Bright Eyes Story Book (no. 2275) [originally to be entitled 'Our Own Story Book'], published in London by Ernest Nister and in New York by E.P. Dutton & Co., ca.1900.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing on stiff card depicting an interior scene of a girl wearing blue and white sat at a table cutting a Christmas pudding. A large sprig of holly is atop the pudding. Three dolls (one a Dutch doll) sit at the table with her on separate chairs. Green carpet and pale yellow walls; with three framed pictures on the wall in the background (partial view of two). Mounted on card.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca.1900 (made)


Petherick, Rosa C. (artist)
Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed by the artist in bottom right corner

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 blue crayon on verso: '12/12', 'XXXII', '11024', '14' and '6f'

Ink stamp on verso reads: 'Ernest Nister / Order no. 42085a/3 / Use: Our Own Story Book'

Partial stamp on verso of card: '[Winsor & N]ewton's / [Dra]wing Board.'

Inscription in ink on verso reads: 'Miss R.C. Petherick / 25 Havelock Rd. / Croydon / Surrey.'


Height: 364 mm Mount, Width: 305 mm Mount

Object history note

Drawn by Rosa C. Petherick ca.1900 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 Rosa C. Petherick, ca.1900; commissioned by Ernest Nister.


Watercolour; Card



Subjects depicted

Toys (recreational artifacts); Play; Dolls; Tea services; Girls; Tables (support furniture); Christmas pudding; Tea parties


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

Production Type



National Art Library

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