Ethel Larcombe (artist)
Laura Ethel Larcombe
|Died||12 December 1940 (aged 63–64)|
|Known for||Illustration, Typography|
|Movement||Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau|
Ethel Larcombe (née Laura Ethel Larcombe, 1876-1940) was an early twentieth-century British children's book illustrator and designer. Born and raised in Exeter, she was the daughter of John Samuel Larcombe and his wife Louisa who owned a small school in the town. She first garnered attention for her 1899 representation of Summer for a competition held by The Studio Magazine, and her typographic lettering was subsequently shown at the Prima Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Decorativa Moderna in 1902 in Turin. She was employed on a freelance basis by Talwin Morris, Art Director at Glasgow-based publishers Blackie & Son to design bookbindings for the firm and their London subsidiary, Gresham. Many of these designs were produced in several colourways.
Larcombe's work can be seen in contemporary publications by The Studio Magazine, Stone, Von Larisch, Walter Shaw Sparrow and Salwey. In the spring of 1917, American retailer Sears marketed green-bordered cotton cloth "coverettes" bearing Larcombe illustrations to customers looking to decorate nurseries and children's rooms. Prior to that she had illustrated a number of "rag books" for Dean & Son. Her designs were also used for chromolithographed postcards printed by E. W. Savory Co. of Bristol and she provided an advert for Arts & Crafts furniture designers Neatby & Evans.
Larcombe died in Exeter on 12 December 1940.
- Cope, P. & Cope, D. (2009) 'Dean's rag books and rag dolls: the products of a famous British publisher and toymaker', River Books, p.228
- Koch, A. (1902) 'L'Exposition internationale des arts decoratifs modernes: à Turin 1902', Darmstadt: Koch, p.199, Available 
- See Beare, G. (1998) ‘Designers of Blackie's Glasgow-style book covers’, Imaginative Book Illustration Society newsletter, no. 8, pp.5-8, and, Gibbs, R. J. (1984) ‘Talwin Morris again: evaluation and collaboration – Part II’, Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society newsletter, no. 37, pp.3-6, and, Gibbs, R. J. (2007) ‘Designs for the serial titles of Blackie’s and Mudie’s by Talwin Morris, Ethel Larcombe and C. R. Mackintosh’, Journal of the Scottish Society for Art History, vol. 12, pp.22-26
- Holme, C. (ed.) (1902) 'Modern design in jewellery and fans', London: The Studio, Available https://archive.org/details/moderndesigninje00holmuoft and Holme, C. (ed.) (1911) 'Pen, pencil and chalk', London: The Studio
- Stone, W. M. (1902) 'Women designers of book-plates', New York: Randolph R. Beam, Available https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015034812563
- Von Larisch, R. (1902) 'Beispiele Kunstlerischer Schrift', Vienna: Anton Scholl, Available https://archive.org/details/gri_33125008890309
- Sparrow, W. H. (1905) 'Women painters of the world', London: Hodder & Stoughton, Available https://archive.org/details/womenpaintersofw00spar
- Salwey, J. (1921) 'The art of drawing in lead pencil', London: B.T. Batsford, pp.205-206, 208, Available https://archive.org/details/cu31924074492475
- Cope, P. & Cope, D. (2009) 'Dean's rag books and rag dolls: the products of a famous British publisher and toymaker', River Books
- An example can be seen in Holme, C. (ed.) (1901) 'Modern British domestic architecture and decoration', London: The Studio, Available https://archive.org/details/modernbritishdo00holmgoog