A rare Jessie King lithographic engraved plate

Price range: Sold

For sale is this exceptionally rare and beautiful Jessie King lithographic plate.  The engraved plate depicts  a variant on an illustration King did “The Magic Grammar” in 1902 and reproduced in the Studio in 1906 – see images.   This plate depicts a slightly cut down version of that illustration with a more ornate border.   The image is classic King depicting a a thin faced girl or young woman in ballooning dress with fine lines and flower motif details.  It is also notable for a “Mackintosh” window in the background – a very unusual depiction for King, that further cements this illustration as a classic of Glasgow School period art.

I suspect this lithographic plate was used for a card or alternative print of the publication but have not found the original print.   Surviving lithographic plates are incredibly rare as they would wear down during use and then be recycled – critically never allowed outside of the printers for fear of copyright breach / misuse.

This rare survivor is made of what appears to be an aluminium zinc alloy. The engraving is very fine and the minute detailing matches that of King’s known “The Magic Grammar” illustration identically.  The plate is in excellent condition.  There are some minor areas of staining to the plate which have a wax like quality and may well be residue from its original use.  I have not attempted to clean it but suspect these could be removed.

The plate could be hung as is or framed. I have shown images of it cut to black and white backgrounds together with a mirror image of the plate on white for comparison with the printed “The Magic Grammar” illustration.

Jessie Marion King (1873-1949) is a famous Glasgow school artist, illustrator, engraver and designer.  She worked for Liberty & Co from c 1904-6 and was responsible for many of their later Cymric range jewellery designs. She is most famous for her illustrations in the style of this plate.

Maker: Unknown / Jessie King

Designer: Jessie King

Date: c. 1905

Marks: None

Material: Base metal alloy (zinc and aluminium I believe)

Condition: Excellent

Size: Width 16.5 cm (max) , height 23.5cm, thickness 0.15cm

Weight: 362 grams, 12.8 oz

SKU: A1160 Category:

Additional information


Art nouveau, Arts and crafts