Walter Dendy Sadler (1854 - 1923) was a British genre painter whose original painting titled "Darby and Joan" is the subject of this print. It was etched in 1890 by Londoner William Henry Boucher (1842-1906), who was particularly noted for his etchings of Sadler's works.
This print of “Darby and Joan” was published by Campbell Prints, Inc. in New York City. “Campbell” was Alfred S. Campbell (1840-1912), also an Englishman, who came to America in 1866 and by 1892 employed over 300 people, printing, art, postcards, calendars, etc.
All of this information--painter, etcher, publisher—is on the lower margin and lower left on the print. Note that the word “re-proof” is included; this indicates that the metal plate used for printing was reused to make this print. On the original etching, the bottom center had the printed title “Darby and Joan” along with a four-line stanza from a poem about them. This print has a charming sketch there instead.
To quote Wikipedia, “Darby and Joan is a proverbial phrase for a married couple content to share a quiet life of mutual devotion.” The picture represents a dining room of the Queen Anne period where Darby and Joan are seated companionably at the dinner table, Darby raising a glass to toast his wife. The décor is fascinating: a collection of blue and white china in the corner cupboard; the Axminster carpet on the floor; the Coromandel screen in the corner and the large paintings of Darby and Joan in their younger years (to name just a few of the multitude of items displayed).
We had our framer remove the print from the frame to replace the cream colored mat and the backing materials with acid-free ones. You can see the browning the acids in the old materials caused in our photos where the print is unframed. When framed, most of the toning is covered by the mat. The frame is the original one, wood painted tan with raised rope trim with subtle rust colored tinting. Framed measurements are 21 inches by 17 inches and the sight size of the print is 15 ¼ inches by 12 ¾ inches. It weighs 4 pounds and has a new, sturdy hanging wire on the back.
The print is in excellent condition, bar the browning; the frame has a few minor nicks but the corners are tight and there are no missing pieces. The glass is in excellent condition and the artwork displays handsomely.
Englishman Frederick Weatherly wrote about the couple in his Victorian era poem "Darby and Joan":
Hand in hand when our life was May Hand in hand when our hair is grey Shadow and sun for every one, As the years roll on; Hand in hand when the long night tide Gently covers us side by side– Ah! lad, though we know not when, Love will be with us forever then: Always the same, Darby my own, Always the same to your old wife Joan.