Image of Lord Roberts

Lord Roberts F.M.

Reference Number:- Sprake Number:- Godden Number:-
so 440 STG49a 135a
Woven on silk:-
(woven on scroll)
signature of
and registration number 350091 

Printed at bottom of card-mount:-

17.8cm deep by 12.7cm wide

10.2cm deep by 5.8cm wide

by Austin Sprake:
Signature woven across the base, or sometimes in smaller writing half across the base. Variations exist in the position of the leaves and the flag. Regd. No. 350091 often woven in. 

by Geoffrey Godden:
Frederick Sleigh Roberts, born in India on 30 September 1832, was Commander-in-Chief in India from 1885 to 1893, having previously served in the Indian campaigns, including the relief of Lucknow.
Promoted in 1895 to Field-Marshal, Roberts was Commander-in-Chief in South Africa from 1899 to 1900. He then returned to England to be created an Earl and Knight of the Garter in 1901.
He died on 14 November 1914, and his body was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral.

The portrait silk of Field-Marshal Roberts was registered at the Patent Office on 2 December 1899, and the front bears the registration number 350091 in the bottom left-hand corner (it may also be stamped on the back-label).
The signature 'Roberts F.M.' is woven at the bottom of the silk.

The subject was first listed as 'Lord Roberts' on label 31+32.

Two basically different variations occur, each with several minor differences in detail.
The rare first version, not previously recorded, is shown on so436 - the face long and narrow, with background shading up to the level of the eyes. The bold signature 'Roberts F.M.' is woven across the full width of the bottom of the silk.

The second version, shown above, is the normal Roberts silk which depicts the face as short and wide, with very little backgound shading. The signature is much reduced in size. Slight but insignificant variations in the woven detail are met with. 

Other comments:
This silk was registered on 2nd December 1899 (number 350091). 

It has been noted that quite a few Stevens pictures and portraits were sold through a company called "SILK PICTURE WEAVING CO.", based in South Farnborough, Hants.
This company tended to stick their own label on the rear of the card matt. As there is usually no evidence that a Stevens rear label was ever present, we are left to assume that Stevens approved of this:-

rear label stuck on the card mount of this silk
rear label stuck on the card mount of this silk above

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This page was created on 13 April 2004
new image added 6 April 2008, and replaced with improved version 26 September 2017

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