“Diana Vernon.” Philadelphia, Thomas Sinclair. Small folio. 12 x 9 (image) plus full margins. Lithograph. Original hand color. Very good condition.
Diana Vernon was a character in the novel Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832). One of the “Waverly Novels,” Rob Roy (1817) recounts the story of an English businessman’s son, Francis Osbaldistone, who becomes involved with the powerful, enigmatic figure of Rob Roy MacGregor, the romantic outlaw who fights for justice and dignity for the Scots. Diana Vernon is the beautiful, high-spirited, fox-hunting young woman Frank comes to love. Diana is often depicted on horseback, or in equestrienne dress. This print suggests those pursuits in the hat with flowing feather.
This print was produced by Philadelphia lithographer Thomas Sinclair. Born in the Orkney Islands, Sinclair (c.1805 – 1881) emigrated to Philadelphia by 1833, and in 1838 began his own firm. Among the earliest in Philadelphia to experiment with color lithography, Sinclair made his first tinted lithograph in 1843 and in 1848 won a silver medal for color lithography at the Franklin Institute’s exhibition. From 1854 to 1859 he was joined by his brother, William, in the firm of Thomas Sinclair & Co. Later, Sinclair’s son would work with his father and the firm’s name was renamed Thomas Sinclair & Son.