Charles William Sherborn

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File:John Warren, Lord de Tabley.png
An example of his work: the bookplate of John Lord de Tabley.

Charles William Sherborn, RE (14 June 1831 – 10 February 1912) was an English engraver, who chiefly made bookplates. He has been hailed as having led the revival in copper-engraved bookplates, and came to be called the "Victorian little master".

The eldest son of Charles Sherborn, an upholsterer, and Mary Brance, he was born at Leicester Square in London. His ancestors were landed gentry, lords of the manors of Fawns and Cockbell in Bedfont; Fawns manor was still in the possession of a distant cousin. He studied at the government school of drawing and design in Somerset House, and was apprenticed to Robert Oliver, a silver-plate engraver based in Soho. He travelled to the Continent in October 1852, and was based in Geneva from September 1853, where he worked as a goldsmith's designer and engraver. He returned to England in September 1856, and began engraving for London jewellers.

In 1872 he decided to work independently as an etcher and engraver, mainly reproducing contemporary portraits and subject paintings, and designing bookplates, the latter of which would later form the bulk of his work. He also made original etchings of London, and was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy. He was a close friend of Sir Francis Seymour Haden, co-founder of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers, and was elected a fellow of that society in 1884. Before his death, he presented a complete set of his works to the British Museum.

Sherborn died at Kensington in 1916, at the age of eighty-four. He had married in 1860 Hannah Wait (d. 1922), the daughter of watchmaker Thomas Davies and widow of draper Thomas Wait. By her he had four sons and a daughter, the eldest of which, Charles Davies, became noted as a bibliographer.


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