About the Collection

The Illustrated London News Original Antique Art Prints


Every subject imaginable was illustrated and made into a woodcut for the newspaper "The Illustrated London News". It was the first illustrated newspaper in the world and began production in 1842. Drawing and sketching was a required skill of the educated class in the days before photography was born. News events, new inventions, landscapes, portraits, artwork, travel and daily life was all subject to be drawn or painted and then copied onto a wood block by an engraver before it would be published and seen by the public and society.

"The Illustrated London News" was circulated among the wealthy and educated of that time; from the Royal Family to libraries and subscribers throughout the English speaking world. Much of the original source material has been lost or destroyed in later years; mainly due to war times or by natural disasters like fire and flood. The Royce Tennant Collection is full of wonderfully illustrated images which no longer exist anywhere else and are considered faithful records of life in the 1800's.

The illustrations of events and places overseas gave the readers a first glimpse of life in another society. Sea Captains, Naval Officers, Army Officers, Senior Crew, Engineers, Explorers, Businessmen, and Educated Travelers would send back to London their artistic impressions of the places they visited. The people, their costumes and lifestyle; animals, plants and landscapes; anything that might be of interest were faithfully recorded. In later years, the newspaper sent out their own artists to create the illustrated records but up til then the illustrations were mostly created by amateurs.

The new owners of these original prints may use the material any way they wish because the copyright has expired and now the images would be considered public domain. The illustrations are line drawings so they would convert nicely to vector or any other popular digital image format allowing you to enlarge or reduce the digital copy to any size and still maintain the original beauty.

These prints would be of enormous value to anyone who is a collector of images during this period as well as libraries, researchers, publishers and scholars who want or need material pertinent to this time. The prints are beautiful and when matted and framed it could be a stunning new piece for your home or office.

This is possibly the largest collection in Canada of antique wood engravings, here on in referred to as "prints". Royce Tennant has en-devoured to arrange the collection into subject matter and regrettably it is time to part with his collection now that he is over 80 years of age. His wishes are that other people may have the opportunity of owning some of this rare an unique material.

These wood engravings (know as woodcuts); were made by engravers copying an illustration onto a wood block. A large picture might require 4 to 6 blocks and the work was crafted with fine workmanship by highly skilled workers using precision tools. Once the woodcut was crafted and the image was used in the newspaper printing process, it was then sanded down so it could be re-used.

Samples of the Collection