Illustration Art Gallery

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

E. V. Abbott

Information about British childrens' artist Eleanor V. Abbott (who usually signed her work E.V.A.) remains stubbornly elusive, although she is commonly given the dates 1899-1980. Her work was attractive, usually on the themes of classic fairy tales, nursery rhymes and stories featuring young children in the style of Mabel Lucie Attwell. Although she was active for some decades she is almost unknown, although examples of her original watercolour artwork does surface for sale occasionally, such as the piece illustrated above.

She lived for many years in Morden, southwest of central London not far from Wimbledon.

The following list of the books she illustrated is probably woefully incomplete, a reflection of how small the collections for this type of book are in even major libraries.

Illustrated Books
Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp. London, Birn Bros., 1940s?
Cinderella. London, Birn Bros., 1940s
Jack and the Beanstalk. London, Birn Bros., 1940s?
Robinson Crusoe. London, Birn Bros., 1940s?
The Dollies Outing. London, Birn Bros., 1940s?
Little Ones at Play. London, Birn Bros., 1940s?
Tea-Time. London, Birn Bros., 1940s?
Children of All Nations Doll Dressing and Story Book. c.1952?
Our Counting Book. London, Birn Brothers, 1952.
Alphabet Children by Winifred Atkinson. London, Birn Bros., 1954.
Stories of Nursery Rhymes. London, Birn Bros., 1959?
Old King Cole Nursery Rhymes: A Selection of Popular Nursery Rhymes. Paulton, Purnell, c.1963?
Our Friends in the Country, illus. with Noel Hopking. London, Birn Brothers, c.1965?


  1. Hi Eleanor Vera Abbot was born 9th November 1909 at Earlsfield near London and died in 1972 aged just 62. She was the daughter of Harold Abbott (a commercial artist & designer in the 1911 census) and Susan Harriet Twist. She was the most prolific English paper doll artist of the 40s to early 60's


  2. Jane,

    Thanks for confirming the dates. I had my suspicions that the 1899-1980 dates were wrong. Thanks, too, for the additional notes. I see that Susan Harriet Twist was born 1887 and married Harold Abbott in 1908. Harold - rather more tricky as his name is quite common - was the son of Arthur and Evangeline Abbott, born in 1884/85.

  3. I appreciate this is now an old thread but I have an original illustration by E V Abbott and am trying to find out for which book it was for (if indeed it was). Any ideas?

  4. Here are some more titles with illustrations by EVA:
    Nursery rhymes Birn Bros. Ltd Pub. # S.3 1954? 21 cm; Old woman in the shoe on cover
    Circus fun Birn Bros. Ltd S.4 1954?
    Plenty of fun Birn Bros. Ltd 657 1940-1969
    Pastime painting book Birn Bros. Ltd 691 1940-1969; Cover only?
    Nursery rhymes. Amex Company A210 4 dif versions all with EVA ills.

  5. Gradirei sapere se i disegni pubblicitari del sapone per bambini Swan apparsi negli anni '40, non firmati, sono opera di Abbott. Grazie-