It is based on a painting by the Pre-Raphaelite artist from 1863. The original has no relation to the Dickens story published 20 years before, but is named for the song Rossetti says the subject is singing. “Here a maid, well-apparelled, sings a song of Christ's birth with the tune of Bululalow: Jesus Christus hodie Natus est de Virgine,” he wrote, in a note attached to the picture frame.
The model for the young singer was Ellen Smith, who knew the artist for several years. However George Boyce, an artist and friend of Rossetti noted in 1863 that “she sat for several of [Rossetti's] sweetest pictures until the poor girl got her face sadly cut about and disfigured by a brute of a soldier and then of course she was of no more use as a model”.
French artist Eugene Gaujean (1850-1900) completed and signed the engraving, which was published by Robert Dunthorne in 1891.
It is offered for £3200 as part of the show at Maas Gallery in Mayfair. The exhibition called Victorian & Pre-Raphaelite Engravings, includes more than 100 prints available online and in the gallery.