Sturt, John

, an engraver of some note, was born in London in 1658. At the age of seventeen he became the pupil of Robert White. His prints are exceedingly numerous, and prove him to have been a very industrious man, but of no great genius. Indeed, the chief of his excellence lay in the engraving of letters, and the minuteness with which they were executed. His best work is the “Book of Common Prayer,” which he engraved on silver plates. The top of every page is ornamented with a small historical vignette. Prefixed is the bust of George 1. in a circle, and facing it the prince and princess of Wales. The peculiarity of this work is, that the lines of the king’s face are expressed by writing, so small that few persons can read it without a magnifying glass, and that this writing consists of the Lord’s prayer, the Ten Commandments, prayers for the royal family, and the 21st Psalm. Tins Common Prayer Book was published by subscription in London in 1717, 8vo, and was followed by a “Companion to the Altar” of the same size, and executed in the same manner. Sturt also engraved the Lord’s Prayer within the area of a circle of the dimensions of a silver penny, and an elegy on queen Mary on so small a size that it might be set in a ring or locket. This last wonderful feat, which was announced in the Gazette, was performed m 1694. He was, however, a faithful copyist, as may be seen by the English translation of Pozzo’s Perspective, published by James, in folio. When old and poor, for it does not appear that he had great success, he had a placa | offered him in the Charter-house, which he refused. He died in 1730, aged seventy-two. Lord Orford says, he received near 500l. of Mr. Anderson of Edinburgh, to engrave plates for his “Diplomata,” but did not live to complete them. 1


Strutt’s Dict. Walpole’s Anecdotes.