Tuesday, January 25, 2011

the piper of dreams

This print by Estella Canziani was an unexpected find ... at the Salvos in Ipswich. I saw it on the wall amongst so many other prints and there was just something about it.

The more i looked at it after purchase the more smitten i became. It's so whimsical without being too fairylike. Fairies ain't my thang. I then did a little research and discovered that it was a well known and famous fairy print of the early 1900's.

See the little robin sitting on his shoe?

Estella Canziani was born in London in 1887 and was an artist, interior decorator, travel writer and folklorist. This was her most famous watercolour which made its first appearance in 1915, a year into the Great War.

In the first year this print sold more than 250,000 reproductions and is believed to have been so popular because it offered an escape from the goings-on in Europe during that time - many were sent from loved one's to their men in the trenches during the war. 

It's framing is aged and the cardboard border is showing that rusty kind of age mark paper gets, but it still has a good feeling about it.


  1. Are you going to reframe? I love it, great find! Xx katherine

  2. Hey Katherine.
    Not sure if i'll reframe. I've had it for about 8 months now and have become used to how it looks ... although now that you mention it, it would look so much better... hmmm, what to do?

  3. It is a great find, you want to keep looking for more little details. I like the simplicity of it's frame and think it looks nice as it is.

  4. What a nice surprise to find this site! I have had one of these prints hanging in my home for about 15yrs. I never looked on the back until tonite as I was rehanging it. Small label with Estella Canziani "The Piper of Dreams". Of all the sites I went to this is the only one with print. Where can I go to find out it's value?
    Thank you

  5. Hi Sharone,
    When i found mine i emailed the Medici Society in London as they were her publishing house and still is for the print. From memory, the guy came back to me saying that there is no way he can price a print with the info i gave him as so many were done. In other words .. it's not worth much. I don't have the email anymore - but go to their website www.medici.co.uk. Check to see what other details are on it. Numbers etc on the back with the name etc etc. Good luck, you just never know what you have hanging around the house do you?! ... Let me know how you get on.

  6. I have owned a copy of this print for over 30 years and I love it. My late husband found it in a box of bits at an auction - the whole box only cost a fiver! Mine has subtle differences in the documentation. The artist's name is in the same place on mine but there is no reference to copyrighting as on the bottom left or "Printed in England" as printed at the bottom right of the picture. On mine the artist's name appears in the same place as on yours and on the right of the picture, on the same line there are the letters and numbers "M.C.1095" My guess is that these are some sort of print run / publication date coding used by Medici but I can't say for sure. It's a great little picture and I'm not bothered about value - it will stay in the family for my grandchildren to enjoy! Good luck with your search.

  7. I too love this print. I remember a copy hanging on the lounge wall when I was a child. It belonged to my Great Grand Uncle Edward Hart (1869-1961) a north east pit worker. Now the same print hangs in my home and I am still enchanted by it.

  8. The piper of dreams has been hanging over my bed in all the houses I have lived in, a prized possession indeed.

  9. I inherited mine from my grandmother's house. It is faded, but I loved it so much it has hung in my house ever since. (My Grandmother was born in 1863 !!)