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Christmas past captured in pictures from the Illustrated London News

A centrepiece in the Illustrated London News, Christmas 1896, entitled The Christmas Tree. The artist, Lucien Davis, was a talented illustrator who specialised in society and leisure scenes. Before 1848, Christmas trees were a German custom, unusual in Britain. When the ILN’s Christmas issue of that year depicted the Royal Family gathered around their tree, it became a potent symbol of Victorian Christmas festivities

Charles Edward Perugini 'Peonies' 1887 oil on canvas Charles Edward Perugini [Italian-born English painter of the Victorian era, 1839 – 1918] Son-in-law to Charles Dickens