Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

Graham’s Magazine was a Philadelphia-based magazine that was published monthly from 1840 to 1858. Today, the magazine is perhaps most remembered for one of its shorter tenured editors, a certain Edgar Allen Poe, who was in the magazine’s employ for 1841 to 1842, at which time he gained notoriety for his acerbic literary reviews. Graham’s published articles, reviews, short stories, poems, engravings, fashion news (see my article for an example), and more. In today’s post, I will review “The Valentine” – an engraving by W.E. Tucker that appeared in the February 1850 edition of Graham’s.

W.E. Tucker’s “The Valentine”

The engraving as it appeared in Graham’s:

An 1850 etching of a fashionable young woman titled by W.E. Tucker "The Valentine
“The Valentine” – clipped from the Project Gutenberg copy of Graham’s Magazine.

The caption in Graham’s is where we learn that this engraving of a very pretty and fashionable young woman is named The Valentine. It adds that the engraving was created “expressly for Graham’s Magazine” by W.E. Tucker.

I have included images from 19th century magazines in many New Leaf Journal articles. However, in almost every case, these images, most commonly etchings and engravings, are connected to a piece of literary content. However, The Valentine appears to have been created for the February 1850 Graham’s as a whole. I did not find evidence that it was connected to a specific story or poem that was published in the issue.

Who Was W.E. Tucker?

I did a bit of surface research to learn about the engraver of The Valentine, W.E. Tucker. While I did not come away with much, I did manage to fill out his biography just a bit.

Biography

William E. Tucker went by W.E. Tucker professionally. He was an American engraver who lived from 1801 to 1857. He was in the employ of Graham’s Magazine for a period that we know began no later than 1848. In 1849, Graham’s sent Tucker to Europe to make copies of work by the “Old Masters.”

The Library of Congress piece in the above link is dated 1828, highlighting that W.E. Tucker was an active engraver and printmaker well before he began working for Graham’s.

Other Works by W.E. Tucker

Below are some links to other extant works by W.E. Tucker, some of which I may cover in future New Leaf Journal articles:

The Library of Congress collection displays some of Tucker’s engravings of historic scenes from American history. His work for Graham’s and Godey’s Lady Book (see a piece on an engraving by a different artist in Godey’s) include title cards, mythological scenes, and several engravings of women and boys in a similar style to The Valentine.