Born in Amsterdam, the son of a diamond dealer, he moved to England with his family at the age of five, attending various London schools. These included Toynbee Hall, St Martin's and Kennington Art Schools, and the Bolt Court School, where tutors Walter Bayes and Walter Seymour were significant influences. He later became a British subject. Initially a newspaper illustrator, becoming well known for his drypoint etchings, he also illustrated books and designed book covers. As a painter he was best known for his portraits, and he is remembered for his etchings of the British legal system at all levels of operation.
His involvement with St Ives seems to stem from visits in the 1930s, exhibiting with STISA in 1933 and joining the Society in 1936. He returned regularly, spending part of the War there, as many of his RBA exhibits of that time were St Ives scenes. Known as 'Jack', his book cover designs were signed J Abbey or, occasionally, C Morse.
Newspaper illustrator, drypoint etcher, painter
works and access
Works include: Sun and Shadow, St Ives, Cornwall (1933); The Windmill, Wenduyne (1937); Spring in Avignon; Counsel's Opinion; The Boulevard (etching); The Market Inspector
Access to Work: Book illustrations include Little Women (1948) and Good Wives (1953) by Louisa Alcott; The Wonder Book (1949) and Tanglewood Tales (1950) by Nathaniel Hawthorne; and Tom Brown's Schooldays (1951) by Thomas Hughes
RA (16); STISA (1) 1933; (1) 1937 Touring Show
ARE 1923; RE; RBA 1933; STISA 1936-c1944; London Sketch Club 1940 (President)
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall p350
Johnson & Greutzner
Peppin & Micklethwait (1983) Dictionary of British Book Illustrators
Tovey Creating a Splash (Illus, self portrait)