Havell family

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The Havell family of Reading, Berkshire, England included a number of notable engravers, etchers and painters, as well as writers, publishers, educators, and musicians. In particular, members of this family were foremost practitioners of aquatint; and had a long association with Indian art and culture. They are the English descendants of the aristocratic Hauteville family of Normandy.

The family first came to notice through the brothers Luke Havell (drawing master, d. 1812?) and Robert Havell the Elder (engraver and publisher, 1769-1832); along with their nephew Daniel Havell (engraver, d. 1826?).

Robert Havell, Sr.

Robert Havell, Sr. (Dec. 29, 1769 - Nov. 21, 1832) was the proprietor of a printing and engraving shop, with an ancillary business in natural history artifacts, in the Marylebone district of London, in the early decades of the nineteenth century. Havell's enterprise at 3 Chapel Street, known from 1818 to 1825 as Havell and Son, was well-established when John James Audubon approached him in 1827 to engrave a portfolio of 240 drawings he had brought with him from America. Recognizing that without the help of another expert engraver he would not be able to take on a work of this magnitude Robert Havell, Sr., contacted his son, Robert Havell, Jr., who had quarreled with his father and left London in an attempt to launch an independent artistic career. Robert Havell, Jr. consented to reestablish the partnership with his father and agreed to engrave the plates of...
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