Image of Leda and a white swan with spread wings
the image of this silk picture kindly
donated by John Hartwig, USA


Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
so 356 STG91 41
Woven on silk:-

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-




cm deep by cm wide

cm deep by cm wide

by Austin Sprake:
A superb study of Leda and the Swan, believed to have been manufactured for the French market. 

by Geoffrey Godden:
This is a superb upright picture of Leda and the Swan after the original painting by Tony Robert-Fleury. Some collectors may prefer to classify this silk reproduction with the portraits, but on the original Stevens back-labels it is included with the standard scenic Stevengraphs.
It is illustrated in colour in the book by Mrs LeVan Baker, whose example was given to her by Mr Henry J. Stevens in 1956. At the time, the donor stated that Leda was produced in 1890 for the French trade and was woven on the largest loom ever made. The tradition of the French trade may have been suggested by the nude subject: for there seem few, if any, other facts to substantiate the theory.
The subject is included on standard English labels with the price given in sterling - a price which was, incidentally, at 1s 6d, 50 per cent higher than that of the normal Stevengraphs, which sold for one shilling. The high price reflects the large size of the picture. Untrimmed original mounts measure 9 inches by 7 1/2inches, although some have been subsequently cut or the picture remounted.
The title was not included on printed back-labels until 31+29, which cannot be before 1894 as it includes the tell-tale portrait title THE LATE LORD RANDOLPH CHURCHILL, M.P. (see so196 on this site).
LEDA AND SWAN is listed on subsequent labels of Edwardian date but is not given on labels which list George V, such as 32+32; and examples are mounted on late type C or on type E card-mounts. Some rare later examples bear the credit 'Woven in pure silk by T. Stevens, Coventry', whereas the examples on a C3 mount do not bear a credit.

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This page was created on 21 December 2003
new image added 2 May 2012. Moved from pictures to portraits, and re-numbered 17 June 2017 © Peter Daws
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