I do not know how easy it is to tell the difference between the colour woodcuts and colour linocuts made by S.G. Boxsius. Most of us are not all that expert and Boxsius made it harder by using a water-colour based medium that people generally associate with British colour woodcut. Boxsius was not alone here. So far as I know Isabel de B. Lockyer never used printer's ink and always used a water-based medium for her linocuts. She started out by making colour woodcuts and adopted lino about 1923 or 1924. Anna Findlay made colour woodcuts until about 1926 or 1927 when she turned to lino (though I do not know what medium she used simply because I have never seen one of her prints in front of me). In my view Boxsius used wood and lino throughout most of the time he was making colour prints. The difficulty is there are no exhibition records I know of prior to 1928 when he exhibited Rain, St. Michael's Mount (below) at the Royal Society of Arts.
Both Rain, St Michael's Mount and Twilight, Winchelsea (top) say something about his attitude to lino and perhaps why he began using it in the first place. There is about ten years between the two print but both of them are candid about how much he owed to the example of William Giles. Winchelsea in particular is seen in terms of Rothenburg ob der Tauber where both Carl Thiemann and Giles worked before the first war. The white fences and the use of purple Boxsius lifted from Giles' At eventide, Rothernburg am Tauber (below c 1906). I strongly suspect Boxius was a students of Giles at the Royal College of Art about 1899. By this time, Giles had studied color woodcut with Frank Morley Fletcher but had not published his first print September moon (1901). To my mind, the intimate knowledge of Giles' colour prints is a personal one, of a student and artist who saw things develop as a young man. By 1916 when Boxsius was himself a teacher at Camden School o Arts and Crafts, the students were commended for the high standard of their colour prints. Bu were they wood or lino? Or were they both. One answer was provided by Giles who asked Boxsius for an article on linocut about 1925 . Unfortunately, The original colour prints magazine folded before the article could appear. The fact remains Giles had great confidence in Boxsius while Boxsius' admiration for Giles' Storm over Jura was well-justified.
Like Giles, Boxsius took a pragmatic approach to making prints and used the medium that best suited his purpose. For a long time I assumed all his early prints were woodcuts. Some may have been but most of the smaller prints are lino. But there is another category that are definitely woodcuts and are easy to distinguish. None are signed in pencil ever and have SG BOXSIUS carved within the print - and they are the only ones that are like that. I have not traced all of them but there are about six or seven, including his most well known prints, Autumn and Winter. There is also Spring but there is no print for summer. Not by SGB, anyway.
The proofs of Autumn and Winter that I have seen are printed on fine japan while the linocuts tend to be on something similar. This implies that the prints were made by hand-printing not on a press (as many more recent linocuts are). That was also true of the Grosvenor School students. Claude Flight believed the result of using a press was 'mechanical' and his books all describe the same method. Allen Seaby also made linocuts and one was made available in the 1920s but again I never seen a proof. Seaby and Giles had been friends since the 1890s but what made Giles specially open-minded about method was his experience working in Germany and Paris. By 1904 lino was being used by both Austrian and German artists and most notably Hugo Henneberg. He had been an innovatory photographer before he began making prints and based his linocut of a boat in Trieste harbour (below) on a photograph he had taken during a visit in 1898.
None of that would matter all that much if Boxsius had not done exactly the same thing in about 1933, the difference being the subject was the British ship Waterwitch and the place was Looe. I have never seen Henneberg's photograph but a image of the Waterwitch used to be online and is in the collection of a national museum. Which one I can't remember but Boxsius' linocut is similar to it. I am conscious that I have said some of this before (and have a post 'Hugo Henneberg the first linocut virtuoso') but I still think it is useful to go over the subject if only because I know more than I did then. I would like to know more of course and realise I need more hard facts. Whether any of us are ever going to turn them up is another thing.