Need a tiger? Try no. 986.

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davison new specimen5The Alnwick pharmacist and printer/publisher William Davison (1781–1858) was fortunate to have the experienced printmaker Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) producing illustrations for his books. At some point, he purchased a large collection of the woodblocks engraved by Bewick and issued a book of specimens of these and others available for printing at the Davison shop.

This specimen book is not dated but was issued around 1837 and offers 1,081 impressions from wood-engraved and cast metal ornaments. Over 50 cuts illustrate literary works by Robert Burns, Beattie, Blair and Fergusson. In addition, there are birds, fish, insects, and of course, tigers.

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William Davison (1781-1858), New Specimen of Cast-Metal Ornaments and Wood Types Sold by W.Davison (Alnwick: Davison, ca. 1837). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2014-in process

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