Elizabeth Harvey-Lee Logo. Etchings and Prints for Sale Elizabeth Harvey-Lee, Print Dealer. Etchings and Prints for Sale Elizabeth Harvey-Lee | Print Dealer Elizabeth Harvey-Lee | Print Dealer
Click here to return to the Home page at any time
Further information about Elizabeth harvey-Lee, Print Dealer and Seller
The methods and history of printmaking
Order back-copies of Elizabeth's previous printed catalogues
View this month's selection of prints for sale
View Elizabeth's current on-line exhibition, many prints for sale, and explore the archives
Contact Elizabeth Harvey-Lee and enquire about prints for sale
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee

You are hereHarvey-LeeHomeHarvey-LeeWeb ExhibitionsHarvey-LeeSamuel Palmer Intro Harvey-LeeOpening the Fold

Samuel Palmer  
(Newington, south London 1805 – 1881 Redhill, near Reigate, Surrey)

Opening the Fold or Early Morning

Opening the Fold | Samuel Palmer | Etching | Elizabeth Harvey-Lee

Opening the Fold or Early Morning
Alexander 13 vi/viii, Lister 13 viii/x
151 x 214 (bevelled plate); 117 x 176 mm; 215 x 319 mm (sheet)

Etching, 1880. The plate signed. With two lines of verse (lines 25 & 26) engraved in the lower plate border by A H Palmer for the small paper edition of An English Version of the Eclogues of Virgil by Samuel Palmer, with Illustrations by the Author, published for him by Seeley & Company, 1883, the first lettered edition (undescribed by Alexander and Lister)  printed on cream laid paper (cf the wove paper of the following four items). Discoloration at the sheet edges. A small ink blot in the margin of the sheet, top left.        


< Previous Palmer Print

Additional Information about the Print

The illustrations to his English translation of Virgil’s Eclogues.

In 1872 Palmer sent his own English verse translation of Virgil’s Eclogues (at which he had worked for years) to Hamerton, who advised on publishing only if Palmer accompanied the text with etchings. Palmer worked on designs for these in drawings and watercolours throughout the last decade of his life.

Only Opening the Fold was finished and independently published (by the Fine Art Society in 1880) before he died. Palmer had begun work on another four uniformly smaller plates. A H Palmer completed these, and with the addition of heliogravure facsimiles of some of the other preliminary drawings, had his father’s illustrated translation published by Seeley & Company in 1883 and 1884. An unlettered folio edition was issued, preliminary to a lettered quarto version on laid paper, both in 1883. In 1884 Seeley published the standard lettered quarto edition printed on wove paper.

The five Eclogue plates would be among those that A H Palmer sent to Griggs in 1924. Griggs would remove the verses. He printed some proofs in Campden in 1924, stamped with the Dover’s House Press mark (a few of Opening the Fold, 20 of The Homeward Star, 8 of The Cypress Grove, fewer of The Sepulchre and Moeris & Galatea). Each plate subsequently had the small triangle of ‘The Trio’ engraved in the lower border, though only Opening the Fold was published -  in the 1926 Trio printing, in an edition of 50.


Opening the Fold illustrates the Eighth Eclogue (lines 23-8) which Palmer translated as
Scarce with her rosy fingers had the dawn
From glimmering heaven the vale of night withdrawn,
And folded flocks were loose to browse anew
O’er mountain thyme or trefoil wet with dew,
When leaning sad an olive stem beside,
These, his last numbers, hapless Damon plied.