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Print - The Lover's Letter Box
  • The Lover's Letter Box
    Baxter, George, born 1804 - died 1867
  • Enlarge image

The Lover's Letter Box

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    England (printed)

  • Date:

    1856 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Baxter, George, born 1804 - died 1867 (print-maker)
    McLeod, Jessie (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Baxter print on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Francis William Baxter

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case EDUC, shelf 9, box E

George Baxter (1804-1867) is one of the few printmakers who have given their name to a printmaking technique. His patented process combined intaglio and relief printing methods. The foundation plate, which printed the main features of the design, was etched, stipple engraved or, more usually, aquatinted. Oil colours superimposed from wood blocks gave the resulting prints a richness of colour that earlier attempts at full colour printing lacked. The Baxter process was later overtaken by colour lithography as a method of printing in colour.
In this print after a painting by Jessie McLeod (fl. 1845-1875) the aquatint tone is printed in black and is clearly visible under a magnifier. The light areas of the print are best for comparing the aquatint tone and the shapes of colour applied using wood blocks.

Physical description

Colour print depicting a woman, in a wooded garden, posting a letter into a hole in the trunk of a tree.

Place of Origin

England (printed)


1856 (published)


Baxter, George, born 1804 - died 1867 (print-maker)
McLeod, Jessie (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Baxter print on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'Published August 30th 1856 by George Baxter, Proprietor & Patentee, London.'

'Gift:- Miss C.W.B.'
Inscribed in red ink on mount


Height: 14.75 in, Width: 10.625 in

Descriptive line

Print by George Baxter after Jessie McLeod, 'The Lover's Letter Box,' Baxter-process print, England, 1856

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

Victoria & Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1932. London: HMSO, 1933
cat. no. 359
Lewis, C. T. Courtney. George Baxter (colour printer) his life and work: a manual for collectors. London: S. Low, Marston & Co. Ltd., 1908.




Baxter-process printing

Subjects depicted

Love; Trees; Garden; Woman; Secrecy




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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