This is a proof of the first version of the illustration 'The Sailor's Bride' which was ultimately published in 'Once a Week' (13 April, 1861, vol. 4, p. 434) to illustrate a poem by Marian E. James. Once Sandys had drawn his design onto a woodblock, it was given to W. H. Hooper to engrave. After the block was complete, proofs were printed for Sandys to approve. However, he was not pleased with the results and demanded that his design be re-engraved by Hooper's employer, Joseph Swain. This is one of two proofs of the engraving by Hooper in the Birmingham collection (see also 1906P875.4). The collection also holds two of the final wood engravings by Swain (1906P875.1 and 1906P875.2). Comparing these with the proofs reveals the two engravers' different approaches to translating Sandys' design in wood: Hooper keeps the thin, more subtle lines drawn by Sandys, producing a greyer image in which the head of the grieving man is almost lost in shadow, Swain is bolder, including thicker lines, more flat blocks of white and creating a brighter image with a greater contrast of black and white.

  • Purchased and presented by subscribers in 1906.
  • © Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery


Association Artist Organisation
After Frederick Sandys -
Engraver W H Hooper -


Type Position(s) Method Date(s) Notes
AFS [monogram] / HOOPER Sc
Signature bottom left Printed 1861 c Ink.


Author(s) Date(s) Publisher Pages
City of Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: Catalogue of the Permanent Collection of Drawings
A E Whitley 1939 Bemrose & Sons Ltd, Derby p. 377
Frederick Sandys 1829-1904: A Catalogue Raisonné
Betty Elzea 2001 Antique Collectors Club (in association with Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service), Woodbridge p. 201


Likely to have been acquired by Charles Fairfax Murray.

Associated people

Name Type
Marian E James Author

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