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"The Departure - Second Class" et "The Return - First Class".
This pair, perfectly illustrating the Victorian era, depicts scenes both taking place inside a first and second class railway carriage.
The first shows a mother shaking hands with her young son, who is clearly on his way to Portsmouth to join the East India Company (or so the recruiting poster stuck just above his head suggests). His sister, sitting on the opposite bench with her brother's luggage, is in tears. On the second print, we see the young boy a few years later having most likely made his fortune. Dressed in an elegant military uniform, he is returning to England and is seen chatting with an equally elegant older man. A young and beautiful elegant woman completes this composition, we see her crocheting with modesty in a corner of the wagon.
Published on April 4, 1857 with a stated edition of 225 pairs. Engraved by W.H. Simmons. Black and white, as published. The pair has been restored to very good condition.
William Henry Simmons (1811-1882), a native of London and a student of William Finden, a line engraver, decided to abandon this style of art in order to dedicate himself to the mezzotinto in which he would reach a very high degree of excellence.