Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Book illustration - Spiritual Conceits
  • Spiritual Conceits
    Swain, Joseph, born 1820 - died 1909
  • Enlarge image

Spiritual Conceits

  • Object:

    Book illustration

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1862 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Swain, Joseph, born 1820 - died 1909 (wood-engraver)
    Rogers, William Harry, born 1825 - died 1873 (designer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Wood engraving on laid paper

  • Credit Line:

    Purchased with the Assistance of the Friends of the National Libraries

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case I, shelf 190

Physical description

Book illustration depicting a mask through the orifices of which burning twigs emerge.

Proof of book illustration, opposite 'Hypocrisy' two conceits one by William Drummond and the other by Francis Quarles on 50 p. in 'Spiritual Conceits'. W. Harry Rogers drew on wood for this engraving to be made by the wood-engraver Joseph Swain.

'Ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.' Matt. xxiii, 28.

There are two horizontal creases one through the bottom and the other through the top of the book illustration.

'Spiritual Conceits' extracted from the Writings of the fathers, the Old English poets, ec. (sic) & illustrated by W. Harry Rogers London (Griffith & Farran, corner of St. Paul's Churchyard 1862 MDCCCLVII'

Place of Origin

London (published)


1862 (published)


Swain, Joseph, born 1820 - died 1909 (wood-engraver)
Rogers, William Harry, born 1825 - died 1873 (designer)

Materials and Techniques

Wood engraving on laid paper


Height: 20.8 cm, Width: 16.2 cm

Object history note

Historical significance: These book illustrations are part of the W.Harry Rogers Archive and to quote the information on the archive provided by 'RW' on 6 February 1998 on the registered file 1997/1476:-
'It is extraordinarily rare to have this kind of documentation at this level of production for the middle decades of the 19th century. The fact the (sic) the state of the designs ranges from rough sketches to finished drawings and proofs allows the pieces to document the design process very closely.'

Descriptive line

Book illustration to 'Spiritual Conceits', 1862, designed by W. Harry Rogers and engraved on wood by Joseph Swain.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Engen, Rodney K. 'Dictionary of Victorian Wood Engravers'. Cambridge: Chadwyck-Healey, 1985. 223 p. and 251 p. ISBN 0859641392
Houfe, Simon 'The Dictionary of British Book Illustrators and Caricaturists'. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Baron Publishing, Antique Collectors' Club, revised 1981 437 p. ISBN 0902028731
Ball, Douglas 'Victorian Publishers' Bindings.' London: The Library Association, 1985. 90 p. and 155 p.

Production Note

'the fact that the editor and the artist are the same person is, probably a novel feature.' from 'To the Reader' introduction by W. Harry Rogers.


Laid paper; Ink


Wood-engraving (process)


TITLES: Spiritual Conceits; Designs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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.