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God's little cow

"God's little cow" - an original handprinted wood engraving.

I’ve always been fascinated by the origins of words in different languages and interconnectedness of languages (even have a postgraduate degree from a looong time ago).

It’s believed that ‘lady’ in ladybird refers to the Virgin Mary - one of the theories mention an old European legend about farmers praying to save them from pests devouring their crops and then being sent these tiny beetles. Ladybirds do, in fact, eat pest insects such as aphids so they would be very welcome by farmers - perhaps that’s why they are also considered to be ‘lucky’?

Interestingly, in many languages this beetle is known by a name linked to God or Mary. In both Irish Gaelic and Russian it’s called ‘God’s little cow’, in German - ‘Mary’s beetle’, in Afrikaans - ‘dear Lord’s calf’, in Hebrew - ‘Moses’s cow’. In Japanese its name translates as ‘heaven’s road bug’.


Wood engraving is a form of relief printmaking. The image is engraved with very sharp finely-pointed tools into a mirror- smooth surface of an endgrain block (in this case - lemonwood). The surface is then inked up and the image is printed onto paper. I hand-burnish each of the prints with a teaspoon  - please allow a week for order processing.

Handprinted in highly-pigmented oil-based ink in Carbon Black on a  smooth acid-free paper Zerkall. 

Comes with an acid-free backboard and double mount ready to fit a standard 8x8" frame (you can also choose an unmounted print. The mount is affixed with tape "hinges" and can be removed if needed).


Image size 4,5x3,2cm (it's a very small engraving - see the photo of me holding the block for reference). Titled, numbered and signed in pencil.

A limited edition of 100.

Because the image is inked and printed by hand, there may be slight variations in tone.

Will be shipped flat, carefully wrapped in acid-free tissue, sandwitched between 2 sturdy boards and packaged in a protective envelop to ensure safe delivery. Comes with a certificate of authenticity.

Sold unframed.


God's little cow

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