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May Day: P.14907-R

Object information

Current Location: In storage


May Day
Oval No. 85


Printmaker: Le Blond, Abraham
Publisher: Le Blond & Co




May Day celebrations are taking place outside The Swan Inn. A Jack-in-the-Green is accompanied by other figures in costume who are dancing to a drum and pipes played by a young boy.


History note: Given by G.H.W. Rylands

Legal notes

Given by G.H.W. Rylands

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given by Rylands, G.H.W.


19th century
Circa 1853 CE - Circa 1867 CE


Stamped at lower right: 'LE BLOND & CO LONDON'. From a set of 32 Baxter-process prints by George Baxter licensee, Abraham Le Blond known as 'The Ovals'. In a departure from Baxter, who stuck his prints onto embossed or printed mounts, Le Blond printed this set, probably with a view to economy, directly onto mounts after which an embossed border, title and number were then added. An original Le Blond print and not the copy of this number as identified by Lycett and Martin ('detected by the untypical brilliance of the colours and by the difference in the quality of the paper … [and] the oval embossed surround is slightly larger than that of the genuine print.' pp.18-19). The Le Blond Ovals, almost certainly in all 32 cases, are reproductions after a series of small oval oil paintings on board by the artist, John Anthony Puller (1799-1886). Puller exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy Summer exhibition between 1821 and 1862 and at the British Institution between 1825 and 1867. Many of his painted ovals, which compare exactly with the compositions of the Le Blond Ovals, have appeared at auction quite regularly during the last 20 years and it has been possible to trace 22 of Puller's compositions to the Le Blond Ovals. It is thought that Puller was probably contracted to produce the small oval paintings for Le Blond, although no evidence of this arrangement has come to light. (See New Baxter Society) Moreover, the fact that a number of small ovals on board by Puller of scenes which are not included in the Le Blond Ovals (such as 'A Travelling Pedlar' and 'A Picnic'), may indicate that a series of small oval compositions for the popular market originated with Puller and that it was Le Blond who struck a deal with Puller for the right to reproduce a selected number for his Baxter process series. For the transfer from painting to print, Le Blond employed the artists George Stone, his eldest son, Francis Le Blond and later his youngest son, Bernard Maynard Le Blond. (Lycett and Martin, 1994, p.19)

School or Style


Techniques used in production

Baxter-process print

Identification numbers

Accession number: P.14907-R
Primary reference Number: 239736
Courtney Lewis: 101
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Thursday 9 January 2020 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 11 January 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Paintings, Drawings and Prints

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "May Day" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-03-30 16:56:06

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{{cite web|url= |title=May Day |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-30 16:56:06|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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