Thursday, 1 March 2012

Martin Erich Philipp - The Throstle

I recently bought this little bird at one of our provincial auctions - Martin Erich Philipp (1887-1978) is a familiar name to enthusiasts of European woodblock prints, especially his glorious Parrots. Rather than give you a boring biography, I will leave you to enjoy the beauty of this picture.

A simple composition, concentrating on the bird with a few branches to place it, none of those heavy black borders that are so often seen. As you can see this one is signed in pencil "M E Philipp" and monogrammed MEPH26 within the plate. Luckily it came in it original frame with original paper label, from which you can read that "Only a short limited edition has been issued. The plates ultimately will be destroyed" - how big was the edition ? 10, 25 ? 500 ? who knows, a bit of marketing there.

And what is a Throstle bird ?? well apparently it is an old English dialect name for the common Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos) and also known as a Mavis. I was a bit surprised to learn this as Martin's example does not look like the in my garden !

For more picture and information about Martin Erich Philip, then I would refer you to Gerrie the Linosaurus, who is particularly keen on this artist and has pages devoted to his work.
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