Countdown to Christmas - I

Lithographic Woodblock Print of "A Flowergirl" by Sir William Nicholson from "London Types" (LEO Design)


Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949) was a British artist.  He began his commercial career as a graphic designer and printer, working with his brother-in-law, James Pryde, in a company they called The Beggarstaffs.  He is best known for his wonderful woodblock prints which he reproduced with the relatively modern lithography.  He produced four series of prints—published as bound portfolios—including one called London Types (1898).  The print of the Flowergirl, shown above, is from that portfolio.

Nicholson carved the original printing blocks in wood.  After printing-up a good copy, he used lithography to reproduce it for the final prints.  Some of the litho prints were also hand-colored before binding.

Although Nicholson was best known for these prints, he was also a sublime painter in oils.  I saw a wonderful exhibit of his paintings—portraits, still lifes, landscapes—at the Royal Academy in London in 2005.  William Nicholson's son, Ben Nicholson, was a commercially successful Modernist painter in his own right.

This Flowergirl print, published in London in 1898, is nicely matted and framed.  Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248