This whimsical drawing was made in the 1890s for Daphne Gaskell, the youngest daughter of Burne-Jones' close friend Helen Mary Gaskell and her husband, Captain Charles Gaskell of the 9th Lancers. For further information on Burne-Jones's relationship with the Gaskells, see Penelope Fitzgerald, Burne-Jones: A Boigraphy, 1975, ch.16. Items from the Gaskell family collection were lent to the Arts Council's Burne-Jones Exhibition, 1975-6, nos.244-5 and 364-6, and the collection was sold at Sotheby's, Belgravia in 1981.
Like so many drawings of this type by Burne-Jones, lot 79 contains a reminiscence of the village of Rottingdean on the Sussex coast, where he acquired a country retreat in 1880. Compare the ducks on the village pond on the left with the sketch reproduced in Lady Burne-Jones's Memorials of her husband, 1904, II, p.216