A rare collection of Annie French's letters and small artworks consisting of four original autograph letters beautifully decorated with original drawings; one postcard; three handmade calendars decorated with original illustrations, quotations, and calligraphy; one handmade decorated quotation booklet; one envelope; and three handmade bookmarks covered with original artwork contained in a decorated envelope. The delicately opulent artworks and decorations are made with pen, ink, watercolour, and collage. All the letters and keepsakes were written and created by Annie French for Violet Neith (née Anderson) as New Year greetings and gifts between 1939 and 1954. The letters are in wonderful condition, with only faint toning to the edges. One of the calendars is missing its commercial miniature printed calendar insert which French had glued in, but all of her own original artwork is intact. The quotation book has two small corners missing but is otherwise, along with the other calendars and bookmarks, in a lovely, bright condition.
Annie French attended and later taught at the Glasgow School of Art during the era of the 'Glasgow Girls' (of which she was one) and the 'Glasgow Boys', whose distinctive collective style became known and imitated around the world. Among her contemporaries were Margaret and Frances MacDonald and Jessie M. King. These gorgeously decorated letters and gifts were sent to Violet Neith of the artistic Anderson family. Violet's mother and father, Daisy Agnes McGlashan and William Smith Anderson, met at the Glasgow School of Art, and attended the school at the same time as French, which is likely to be how the families became friends. Violet and her sister Daisy (in the letters French affectionately enquires after "the Daisies", clearly referring to Violet's mother and sister) also attended the school in the 1920s. French is something of an elusive figure and little is recorded of her life, which makes these letters and keepsakes that she made for her close friend very special, offering a remarkable look into the work and life of a private, highly talented artist, as well as a small snippet of the wider, vibrant world of the Glasgow School, which so influentially shaped British decorative arts at the birth of the 20th century.
Stock code: 17770