The maid is hanging the laundry up to dry when a black bird comes and nips off her nose. In the nursery rhyme the nose is reattached by the King's surgeons who do such a fine job that you can barely see where it was sewn back on.
The incident of the maid losing her nose has been the subject of some speculation. Does it have any deeper meaning? Some have seen in this incident an allusion to Anne Boleyn or even to the maid losing her soul to the devil.
Whatever the meaning of this incident, I am impressed by Walter Crane's attention to detail: note the folds of the maid's clothes, the way that the sheet flutters in the wind, and the poles used to string the clothesline. I also love the way that Crane used calligraphy reminiscent of medieval illuminated manuscripts.
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|A Beautiful Drawing from Sing a Song of Six Pence - by Walter Crane|