1891 Football Match and Association Game Photogravure, after W.H. Overend

This wonderfully expressive photogravure was published in 1891 in London. The print was made after W.H. Overend’s original work, still showcasing his  signature at the bottom left of the print. In the  margin just above the top left of the scene is the publishing information. The work depicts an exciting moment during a football (soccer) game as one player prepares to throw the ball to his teammate while the opposing team races towards him. In the background, a large crowd watches the players on the gray, cloudy day.

The history of association football in England (commonly known as football or soccer) goes back to the 14th century. Decrees were given by kings outlawing football from the cities and towns for the rambunctious nature of the sport. As time passed and the sport became more and more popular, schools began their own associated teams. Soon attempts were made to standardize rules, but it was not until 1888 that a Football League was officially created in England. Only two years later, Overend illustrated this depiction of the football game and one year after that, it was printed and published. Today, football is one of the most popular sports in London and abroad. 

The artist, W.H. Overend was an American-born illustrator who was most known for his military and marine paintings. However, Overend spent a significant amount of time working in England for the Illustrated London News as well. Overend’s work has even been displayed at the renowned Royal Academy of Art in London.

Photogravure is a type of print made from a photograph taken of the original artwork. By using acid and acid resist to etch the image onto a copper plate, a detailed reproduction is made. The final print is produced after pressing high quality paper onto the ink-covered engraving plate. After the development of photography, this method of printing became very popular for its accuracy and high quality detail.


Overall very good condition. The black and white print has no notable creases, tears, or other damage. The piece is housed in a custom archival quality frame.

Framed Dimensions: 35 ½” H x 45" W x 2" D.

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