The primary artistic influence behind the Prattware phenomenon that captivated Victorian society for 40 years was the freelance artist and engraver Jesse Austin (1806-1879).


A gifted artist with a limited imagination, he drew his inspiration from celebrated paintings, events and other aspects of Victorian life painting the designs first in watercolour and then etching the four plates (black, blue, yellow and red) for printing.

Leslie Crowther owned half a dozen Austin originals which sold in the Special Auction Services (15% buyer's premium) June 5 sale at between £400 for a shaped rectangular lid Halt near Ruins, to £900 for the image of The New Blackfriars Bridge pictured, right.

A nice example of the pot lid with this print from the Historic Views series sold at £90.