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Father Christmas hanging toys over a fireplace

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (made)

  • Date:

    ca.1890 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Röger, K. (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, Harriett M. Bennett, Edith A. Cubitt and Rosa Petherick.

Physical description

Watercolour drawing on stiff card of Father Christmas wearing a red coat with a fur trim hanging a doll on a string across a fireplace in a bedroom. He has two puppets in his pocket. Already hanging across the fireplace are toy soldiers, a sock, a trumpet and a puppet on strings. A sack of toys sits on the carpet at Father Christmas' feet; a Punch doll, doll and wooden horse appear at the top of the bag. There is a toy soldier and two balls on the floor. In the background a child sleeps in a brass bedstead. There is a clock on the mantelpiece and a portrait of a man on the wall above the bed. Mounted on card.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (made)


ca.1890 (made)


Röger, K. (artist)
Nister, Ernest, born 1842 - died 1909 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour on card

Marks and inscriptions

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

Inscribed in blue crayon on verso: 'XXXII', '12/12', '11111' and '5'

Initialled in pencil on verso: 'K. Röger'

Initialled by the artist in bottom left of drawing: 'KR'

Initalled in pencil by Anne Renier on verso: 'AR' [under sellotape]


Height: 428 mm Mount, Width: 324 mm Mount

Object history note

Drawn by K. Röger ca.1890 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 K. Röger, ca.1890; produced for Ernest Nister.


Watercolour; Card



Subjects depicted

Gifts; Mantels; Puppets; Wooden horse (toy); Trumpets; Clocks; Beds (furniture); Toys (recreational artifacts); Brass bed; Toy soldiers; Dolls; Fireplaces; Children (people by age group); Socks; Balls (recreational artifacts)


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

Production Type



National Art Library

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