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Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1895 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thompson, G. H. (artist)
    Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)
    Venner, Victor (artist)

  • 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 G. H. Thompson was published by Ernest Nister in Jack and the Beanstalk (ca.1895), with the title, 'Jack chops down the beanstalk'.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing on stiff card depicting a scene from Jack and the Beanstalk. The giant is climbing down the beanstalk growing in the garden of a small white thatched cottage. At the base of the plant Jack prepares to chop down the plant with an axe. Mounted on card.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca.1895 (made)


Thompson, G. H. (artist)
Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)
Venner, Victor (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

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 blue crayon on verso: '12/12', 'XVI', '2830', 'C' and '134'

Inscribed in pencil on verso: '? G. H. Thompson'

Partial white and blue label on verso, inscribed '283[0]'


Height: 425 mm Mount, Width: 288 mm Mount

Object history note

Drawn by G. H. Thompson ca. 1895 for Ernest Nister. Bequeathed to the V&A in 1970 by Anne Renier and Fernand G. Renier as part of the Renier Collection.

Descriptive line

Watercolour drawing by G. H. Thompson, ca. 1895; produced for Ernest Nister.


Watercolour; Card



Subjects depicted

Shutters; Axe; Stalk; Fairy tales; Men; Vegetable gardens; Cottages; Vines; Bean


Drawings; Illustration; Books; National Art Library

Production Type



National Art Library

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