Henry Alken (1785-1851)
Henry T. Alken is one of the most renowned and popular of British sporting and genre artists and engravers. He was the son of another engraver, Samuel Alken--known for his topographical as well as sporting scenes--, and father of Samuel Henry Alken, who followed in the steps of his forbearers as an engraver and artist. Alken is famous for his sporting prints (indeed on some of his early plates he used the name 'Ben Tally-Ho') as well the many humorous series he produced in the 1820s.
Illustrations of popular songs of the day, Alken's imaginative vignettes illustrate the songs line by line. Their fine execution and hand-color make them wonderful examples of Alken's work. $125 each
A series of caricatures of people in different situations. Each plate has a number of delightful vignettes, showing Alken's wit and skill. $125 each
Another series exhibiting Alken's humorous, yet sensitive view of his fellow man. $65 each
In this series, Alken combines his expertise in sporting prints and caricature. $175 each
Henry William Bunbury (1756-1811)
Henry William Bunbury, known as the "gentleman draughtsman," was a graduate of Cambridge and equerry to the Duke of York. As one of the most popular caricaturists of his time, Bunbury produced gently satirical illustrations of social life that were used by many of the leading engravers of the day, including Bartolozzi, Rowlandson, Dickinson and Gillray. Because his caricatures were not as caustic as some, he was able to appeal to the most fastidious of connoisseurs, such as Horace Walpole. His illustrations, however, show wit and insight.
George Cruikshank (1792-1878)
As a child, George Cruikshank learned to etch and draw from his father Isaac, a caricaturist who was credited as the first to lampoon Napoleon Bonaparte. At 19, George replaced his father, who was completing James Gillray's final, unfinished work. With this auspicious project, the younger Cruikshank began a working career that would span over 70 years and earn him the title "Gillray's heir." Among his noted works are caricatures of Napoleon's exploits as well as the exaggerated fads and fancies of the English gentry. In addition to his humorous topics, Cruikshank used his art to address concerns about alcohol and its effects on society and the family. Today, art historians view him as the last great master of the etched caricature.
"Flying Artillery, or A Horse Marine, . ___" Credit to "Geo[rge] Cruikshank fect." And "Pubd. By Js. Robins & Co. Ivy Lane R.R. Row." London, 1811-1815. Etching (original hand coloring). 8 x 5 5/8 (image) plus text and borders. Framed to archival specifications. A bright piece.
An example of the early productivity of George Cruikshank (1792-1878) when he was closely imitating James Gillray's style, but before he had such a factory of artists that later included his father and son. From 1811 to 1816, the height of the Napoleonic Wars, this prolific caricaturist produced etched satires for Town Talk and later more for The Meteor. This comic scene capitalized on military terminology about light or horse artillery and illustrates how, indeed, military horses can fly. $225
In these wonderful prints, Jerry Hawthorn and Corinthian Tom are shown in various scenes of Regency London. Not only are these charming examples of the Cruikshanks' work, they also provide an insightful glimpse of 'Life in London.' $65 each.
Isaac Cruikshank (1764-1811)
Isaac Cruikshank, Scottish painter and caricaturist, was born in Edinburgh. His sons Isaac Robert and George also became artists, and the latter in particular achieved fame as an illustrator and caricaturist. Cruikshank is known for his social and political satire.
Attributed to Isaac Cruikshank. "A Magisterial Visit." London: Fores, 1795. 11 7/8 x 8 3/4. Etching. On laid paper with fleur de lis watermark. Hand color. Very good condition. George 8686.
Three British drinkers are alarmed when a magistrate exercises his license to disperse meetings by drinking their punch. The greater implication of the law is under the table where a dog labeled "Pitt" (Prime Minister William Pitt) snatches a bone from a muzzled "John Bull" dog. $1,200
Attributed to Isaac Cruikshank. "Young Roscius and his Pappa in company with John Bull." London: S.W. Fores, January 4, 1805. 8 1/8 x 12 5/8. Etching. On laid paper with fleur de lis watermark. Original hand color. Very good condition. George 10458.
John Bull with Master Betty Roscius and his father. They are presented as rivals on the British stage to Mrs. Siddons and J.P. Kemble on the wall. The triple ostrich feathers on Master Betty's chair indicate patronage by the Prince of Wales. $800
Isaac Cruikshank. "Solomon in all his Glory!!" London: T. Tegg, 1807. Engraved by George Moutard Woodward for his The Caricature Magazine, or Hudibrastic Mirror, vol. IV. 13 1/2 x 9 1/4 (sheet). Original hand color. George, 10908. Trimmed margins, but otherwise very good condition.
Set at the corner of "Petticoat Lane," location of a clothing market operated after the Great Fire of London by Huguenot and Jewish merchants, the print is described by the British Museum's Web site this way: "A stalwart bearded Jew stands surrounded by courtesans: one puts her arms round him, his right arm round her waist; he smiles back knowingly, while he holds the left hand of the woman on his left. A third looks over his shoulder. He wears a cocked hat and a garish old-fashioned waistcoat, heavily trimmed with gold. The women are comely and fashionably dressed." $650
Isaac Robert Cruikshank (1789-1856)
Like his brother George, Isaac Robert Cruikshank learned his trade from his father, Isaac. Originally setting himself up as a portrait and miniature painter, he later returned to printmaking, often collaborating with George. In 1830, he left caricature work to focus on book illustration.
"The Freedom of Election or Hunting for Popularity and Plumpers for Maxwell." Engraving with original hand color. London: G. Humphrey, 22 June 1818. 10 1/4 x 14 1/4 (platemarks) plus thin but complete margins. George, 12999.
This ingenious caricature shows twelve politicians on a stage representing various views of the election with Hunt and Maxwell as the major speakers. The audience is comically represented by fourteen heads expressing over 28 opinions of the election. A fine and vivacious representation of a British election at Covent Garden. $650
William Dent. "Road to Ruin." London: W. Dent, 1792. Engraving. 7 7/8 x 21 1/2. Some, mostly marginal, staining. Else, very good condition. Ref.: Donald, The Age of Caricature, pp. 99-100.
William Dent, a wealthy merchant who drew caricatures in the period from 1783 to 1793, used the title of a successful play by the radical playwright Thomas Holcroft for this satire. Here the Prince of Wales (the future George IV) and his mistresses lead the royal family and their London imitators on a dash towards damnation represented by the River Styx. A roulette wheel, playing cards , dice, "illegal insurance" are all represented The point is that the dissipation of the aristocracy in reckless gambling and sexual license leads to the undermining of what we would call "middle class values." Adding a dash of anti-Semitism, Dent shows a Jewish-looking money lender expressing joy at the profit he will make from lending the fools money at exorbitant interest. $850
HB [John Doyle] (1797-1867)
By writing his initials twice-over, John Doyle manipulated the letters to create the pseudonym signature "HB". Born in Catholic Dublin, HB arrived in London in 1821, after the death of James Gillray. Thomas Rowlandson had aged, as well, and with him the era of biting, pointed caricature in London. As HB began his career, he introduced a gentler sort of satire, making soft jokes calculated to avoid strong offence. Rather than exaggerating physical features and pushing the bawdy laugh, Doyle employed reasonable likenesses with circumstantial humor. Even the subtle, sketchy appearance of his lithography marked a change from the loose, brash lines of colored etchings, a medium that had dominated caricature printing for the previous half-century.
A new style of caricature entered the English world in 1828 with the advent of HB's (John Doyle) Political Sketches. They were a departure from what Dorothy George called "the uninhibited old school to a decorous new one." See her English Political Caricature: II, 218-19. The fine tonal qualities of lithographic drawing replaced the strong and angular etched lines of Gillray and Rowlandson. Most important though, reform was in the air as the Test Act was repealed and the Corn Laws and Catholic emancipation held up new hopes for the growing middle class. The death of George IV necessitated a new parliamentary election in which the Whigs gained and the old Tory leadership was lost with the resignation of Wellington. Doyle's prints signed "HB" were issued regularly from 1829 to 1849 with a tapering off thereafter to a final plate #917 issued in 1851.
References in this list to "George" refer to Mary Dorothy George's Catalogue of Personal and Political Satires in the British Museum. Some citations will be given to the best monograph on the period of King William, which is George M. Trevelyan's The Seven Years of William IV.
Remembered by historians for his staunch support of the Reform Act of 1832, English Whig Lord John Russell appears here as a tailor, proffering a new style of breeches for the stout (and presumably slow-to-change) John Bull. $240
Brougham sits on the Woolsack in Parliament wearing a barrister's wig, (holding an old fashioned tricorn hat) instead of the chancellor's wig that he is supposed to wear. The "H" in the title is whited to stress that a pun is being conveyed through the minister's affiliation to the new liberal group. Looking on and registering shock or amazement are from left to right: Shaftsbury, Lyndhurst, Eldon and Wellington. $150
Filled with small detail, this print shows the Russian bear climbing a pole (Poland) to obtain a biscuit labeled "Liberty" held in the mouth of a distressed head atop the pole. Uniformed men representing the European powers watch and provoke the bear which faces obstacles such as skeletal hands pushing down from spikes at the top. A comment on the political situation in Europe. $175
In December and January letters in The Times signed "Radical" accused specified ladies of receiving unearned salaries and pensions. The masked man is the writer, and he presents Harriet Arbuthnot to John Bull who asks "by what underhand means has this lady obtained her Pension?" She and other women flee from the men. The others are not identified, but they would have included the Duchess Dowager of Newcastle, Lady Mornington (Wellington's mother), and Lady Westmeath. $150
Althorp is represented as an injured race horse being inspected by William IV (in top hat) and Grey. They speak of the breakdown of the negotiations over the Reform Bill as if it were a horse with a broken leg. To the left are Peel and Wellington commenting on the situation. $125
This print shows the Tory reaction to Russell's premature exposure of the plan to disenfranchise sixty boroughs as part of the Reform Bill. Wetherell slumps into a chain with an exhausted grin because his borough of Boroughbridge was on the list. Everyone comments on the sadness of his giving his last speech: (from left to right) Twiss, Wetherell, Chandos, Peel, Goulburn, Grey, and Althorp. Trevelyan, plate 14. $100
Fear of a general uprising if the Reform Bill did not pass was constantly on the minds of Englishmen during this period. As a symbol of the entire nation, John Bull is here shown undecided if he, the nation, will be pulled between tragedy (John North pointing to "the first abyss in the revolutionary Hell") and comedy (Wetherell alluding to his own speech warning that the Commons would be ridiculed for such a bill). The classical garb of the graces reinforces the universality of the situation. $150
When the Horse Guards refused to allow Brougham's carriage to pass through on his way to the drawing rooms, he ordered his coachman to force the passage. The idea advanced is that the work on the Reform Bill was inevitable and would go through. $150
Henry Hunt opposed the Reform Bill because it was not sufficiently radical. He expresses his concerns to a cheering mob that includes (from left to right): Sugden, Peel, Goulburn, Twiss, Wetherell, Ellenborough, Wellington, Cumberland, and Eldon. Below the wagon two mismatched dogs sniff one another. Politicians, like dogs, make strange bedfellows. $125
Mr. Hunt is a high priest[ess] at the altar of discord. Because the Tories hoped he could derail the Reform Bill, they bow down before him. They are (left to right): Wellington, Carnarvon, Newcastle, Sadler, Sugden, Wetherell, Twiss, Goulburn, Dawson, and Peel. Trevelyan, plate 15. $100
A play on the words "villainy" and "willany" echoing from a recent farce. King William sits at a library table and tells Melbourne that he cannot attend a City dinner that had been offered by Mr. Key, the Lord Mayor. The dinner had been to celebrate the Reform Bill which the king was not anxious to approve. He used gout as an excuse. $100
The scene is a county fair in which two rival booths support spokesmen for reform and the old order. Earl Grey speaks for reform as a crowd surges up the steps to attend. At the other booth one lone elderly gentleman slowly climbs the stairs. $175
A gentle satire showing King William IV reading an ambiguous inscription: "Reform Bill." His subjects saw him as unintelligent, eccentric, undignified and foolish, but kind. He cannot decide whther the writing on the wall announces the Reform Bill or if it demands his own reform. Trevelyan, plate 17. $125
Inspired by Swift's Tale of a Tub, the major players in the Reform Bill are trying to catch a whale which represents the English public, from their tub of a boat. Grey has the tiller and William IV holds onto his crown with one hand and leans on Grey with the other. Others in the boat from left to right are Althorp, Brougham, Durham and Holland. On a ship in the background, Wellington expresses his concerns to Robert Peel. $175
Lord Sefton is now a cab driver, having been turned out of office by the Reform Bill. Ahead of his cab are Hunt and Cobbett who plan on hiring him for a drive. In the background is Sefton's house. $125
Lord Winchilsea was a staunch Tory and expert on agriculture, so he is shown in a peasant's smock riding in a hay wagon. He and Wellington had quarreled in the past, so with the passage of the Reform Bill, he is shown abandoned by the Iron Duke who rides away with the cart horse. $125
Charles Weatherall tried to interfere with the work of the committee for the Second Reform Bill by speaking from four in the afternoon until seven the next morning. The clock on the wall attests to the later time. Members of the House of Commons who are asleep are O'Connell, Hume, Croker, Robert Peel and Goulburn. A fine scene of parliament. $150
Opposition to the Second Reform Bill chose delay to cool the ardor of the participants. Althorp, shown here, was one of the members who wanted to get on with the vote, so he is shown grasping the bill as Father Time tries to wing it away. $125
This plate shows the strongly anti-slavery Lord Goderich, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and, briefly, Prime Minister, who was serving as Colonial Secretary in Earl Grey's cabinet, "barbering" a West Indian colony slave, while Grey tries to squeeze a slave's foot into an ill-fitting shoe. As the then Chancellor, Lord Althorp, sat in the House of Commons for Northamptonshire, where shoes were a staple manufacture, a huge sack of shoes is shown between the legs of the overseer. $150
This plate shows Daniel O'Connell coming to the rescue of Joseph Hume. In the general election of July, 1837, Hume had been defeated for re-election to his parliamentary seat for Middlesex. The English Radicals then appealed to Irish leader O'Connell, who found Hume a seat representing the "borough corporation" of Kilkenny. "Shooting" rubbish meant dumping it in a certain place to build up the ground. $125
This plate, based on a famous German painting, shows Irish M.P. Daniel O'Connell (as Satan) in a game with Prime Minister Melbourne, as Britannia looks on pensively. Melbourne's pieces include Queen Victoria, John Bull, aristocrats and a bishop. O'Connell's figures include the Pope and a dancing Irishman, as he pulls back Justice while advancing an O'Connell-like figure. $150
Following up the Chess theme from plate 502, this plate shows Queen Victoria engaged in a match with Lord Palmerston while Prime Minister Lord Melbourne observes. Both men often played chess with the Queen. The title is a bit of a pun, referring to the danger to the chess piece, the Queen, and to a young, inexperienced woman matched in gamesmanship and in politics with men of long experience and skill. $150
This plate shows the young Queen Victoria on one of her almost daily horseback rides. Often accompanied by members of the nobility, here she is seen between Lord Melbourne to the left and Lord Palmerston to the right, two of her most senior advisors. The title refers to a story, considered apocryphal by Protestants, in the Book of Daniel wherein the "elders" accused Susannah of infidelity, but she was successfully defended by Daniel. $125
This plate satirizes Lords Palmerston and Melbourne by likening them to characters in David Garrick's play of the same title wherein "Lord Duke" lords it over "Sir Harry" to the amusement of "Miss Kitty." Deliciously, HB dresses Melbourne in the Sheriff of London's livery and Palmerston in that of an under-sheriff, which liveries had recently been inspected by Queen Victoria as examples of fine English workmanship. $150
In this plate, Joseph Hume urges patience upon his fellow House of Commons Radical, physician Thomas Wakley, who is attempting to get Lord John Russell to swallow his reform "medicine." Meanwhile, Irish leader Daniel O'Connell is preparing his own reform medicine draught for Russell. $150
This plate plays on the discredited story that a woman posing as a man had briefly been pope in the tenth century. Here Irish leader Daniel O'Connell pays homage to Commons leader Lord John Russell, who is flanked by the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, the Marquess of Normanby, and the Irish Secretary, Lord Morpeth. $100
This plate plays on the struggle between Peachum and Lockit in The Beggar's Opera. Melbourne (Good Breeding) struggles with Lord Brougham (an advocate for education) over Brougham's criticism of funding for Queen Victoria's mother, the Duchess of Kent. $125
This plate refers to a parliamentary motion for financial details made by Lord Brougham, who advocated for immediate full emancipation of West Indian slaves. Brougham is shown here tickling awake the notoriously indolent Colonial Secretary, Lord Glenelg. Lord Aberdeen, always interested in foreign and colonial policy, looks on. $150
In this plate Parliamentarians Wakley, Buller, Harvey, Hume, Brougham and Roebuck annoy John Bull with their incessant caterwauling over ballot reform. $125
This plate refers to Thomas Otway's 1682 play Venice Preserved or the Plot Discovered, wherein Jaffier joins a conspiracy against the Venetian Senate in a fit of pique against his father-in-law. Here Lord Brougham declares himself a foe to (unnamed) Melbourne as he addresses Parliamentarians Molesworth, Buller, Whittle Harvey, Hume and Roebuck, all costumed as characters in Otway's play. $125
This plate refers to the constant motions of Daniel Whittle Harvey to reform the Pension List, which motions were always evaded by Chancellor of the Exchequer Thomas Spring Rice. Here, schoolboy Whittle Harvey whips his toy top, the Chancellor, to make it spin, to the delight of Lord Brougham, in the costume of a Christmas Pantomime clown. $125
This plate is a straightforward look at five of the leaders of Canadian rebellions of the period, which followed the corrupt elections of 1836 there. The rebellions were crushed by the British military, but gradual reforms that proceeded from them eventuated in the establishment of the democratic Dominion of Canada as we know it in 1867. $125
This plate shows the thin ice the Government skated on during the Canadian Rebellions. Colonial Secretary Lord Glenelg has fallen through, Prime Minister Melbourne offers him his cane , Lord John /Russell and Thomas Spring Rice hang onto their leader. John Bull appears to cry for help, but Lord Brougham expresses the smugness of the accurate predictor, while the Duke of Wellington hurries up with proper equipment. $150
In this plate the Royal Shepherdess (Queen Victoria) cossets her favorite, Lord Melbourne (William Lamb), who bears the brand of a crown and a V, while the rest of the white sheep (Palmerston, Russell, Spring Rice, Hobhouse, Cottenham, Duncannon and the indolent, recumbent Glenelg) look on with envy. Black sheep, Brougham, turns away, boasting of his lack of courtly airs. $175
In this plate Irish leader Daniel O'Connell, as the lion, approves the way the fox, Constantine Phipps, Marquess of Normanby (and formerly 2nd Earl of Mulgrave), Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, has divided up patronage. By having the lion praise how Normanby has divided "so justly," H.B. satirizes O'Connell's incessant call "Justice for Ireland." $150
In this plate Lord Brougham is pleased to have his position on the Canadian question joined in the House of Lords by the Earl of Mansfield and Lord Ellenborough. However, as each had a different reason for a similar position, they are here likened to characters from an 1806 farce The Three and the Deuce: Pertinax Single, Peregrine Single and Perceval Single. $175
This plate shows Lord Glenelg, Colonial Secretary, literally pilloried for the rebellious Canadian situation. Cruelly, fellow peers join in, Brougham pitching eggs and Aberdeen a dead cat! Wellington's words express sympathy; his countenance does not. Melbourne, Russell and Spring Rice look on from the foot of the pillory. $125
This plate shows the disappointment Radicals Roebuck (speaking) and Molesworth (driving the stage coach) have with Lord Durham, whom they tried to recruit to pull the Radical coach. They return him to Melbourne, landlord of the "Queen's Arms," and seek the return of "old" Lord Brougham. $175
This plate casts Lord Brougham in the role of "Silenus" riding to meet Midas and accosted by peasants in the forest. Surrounded by Leader, Hume, Warburton and Roebuck, he is followed by Grote, raising an urn marked "Ballot," and Harvey, carrying the banner of "Pension List." To the left, Glenelg (with Cupid!), O'Connell and Russell complete the scene. $150
This plate satirizes the amount of time Lord Melbourne spent in the company of the Queen, practically living at Windsor when she was there. Therefore, auctioneer George Robins is depicted auctioning Melbourne's household goods, to an audience of Brougham, Wellington and Peel, while Spring Rice and Russell observe from the background. None wishes to appear too eager to assume Melbourne's place, although each hopes to do so! $175
In this plate Daniel O'Connell is satirized for saying in Parliament that England was a plundering giant and Ireland a beaten dwarf. HB shows O'Connell as a giant wielding a club marked "repeal" and "patronage" and carrying a bag filled with "rent," while diminutive Lord John Russell looks wounded and forlorn. $125
This plate shows Melbourne distilling for Queen Victoria a rather lengthy speech he had given in the House of Lords a month earlier on the Canadian situation. He informs her Majesty that all the trouble is due to Parliamentary Reform! $175
This plate is a pastiche of a famous William Mulready painting showing a bully boy lording it over a frightened meek one, whose little sister cries for help from Mother. The satire here is that Radical leader Brougham is cast as the bully, Melbourne (William Lamb) as the meek lad, and Wellington as Mother! $125
This plate casts Melbourne as the Greek priest of Apollo who warned against the Trojan Horse, with Lord John Russell and Thomas Spring Rice as his sons. Lords Lyndhurst and Brougham are represented as the serpents Juno sent to destroy the father and sons. $125
This plate renders Queen Victoria as Una, from Edmund Spenser's epic 1590 poem, John Bull as her Ass, Lord Melbourne (William Lamb) as her Lamb, and Lord John Russell as her Dwarf. $175
This plate depicts the Radical attacks on the Ministry of the time. Lord Brougham is in the process of shearing mild-mannered Melbourne (William Lamb), while Sir William Molesworth has shorn Lord Glenelg. Thomas Spring Rice, Lord John Russell and Lord Howick wait their turn. $150
This plate shows the reaction of a couple of old tars to the appointment of Thomas Shiel, Member of Parliament for Tipperary and a Roman Catholic, as the Governor of Greenwich Hospital, despite being "green," having no relevant experience. Daniel O'Connell, Irish leader, looks on with satisfaction, as he probably engineered the appointment. $150
In this plate, Brougham and Lyndhurst are the storm clouds threatening the ship of the Ministry by attacking Lord Minto, First Lord of the Admiralty, for interfering in Sardinia. Melbourne, joined by Lansdowne, Palmerston and Duncannon, will "throw him over" to keep the ship from sinking, while Russell clings to the mast. Wellington is the whale waiting for "Jonah," but will ultimately be his defender. $125
In this plate O'Connell is giving instructions to the new Lord-Lieutenant for Ireland, Lord Ebrington, for an attack on the established Church of Ireland. Ebrington's predecessor, Normanby, hat in hand, is taking his leave, but Morpeth, retained as Secretary for Ireland, is listening attentively. $150
In this plate John Bull is crushed by fiendish Sir Robert Peel and his new Income Tax burden, which, however, had allowed some imported items to have taxes removed, including the first on the alphabetical list, "Asses (Colonial)." $300
In this plate John Bull umpires a race to accomplish Free Trade between Lord John Russell's hare-like fixed duty tariff plan and Sir Robert Peel's more gradual sliding scale plan. The caricaturist's point being to remind that the slow-but-steady tortoise won the fable's race. $325
In this plate, reference is made to the habit of newspapers, especially the London Times, to refer to Lord Palmerston as "Cupid." Here, out of government and in the opposition, "Cupid" amuses himself by blowing bubbles, some of which contain the names of measures on which he prided himself. $300
In this plate Mary Shelley's hideous monster, carrying a crozier bearing a Liberty Cap with labels "Repeal," "Separation" and "Anarchy" is depicted as a creation of Daniel O'Connell, on whom he has turned. The former "slave" now orders his former master to march over a precipice. $350
In this plate Wellington faces off against O'Connell on the issue of whether Irish Agitators of British troops in Ireland might instigate violence. O'Connell (restrained by "Craft") and the Duke (restrained by "Prudence") each assert that he won't strike first. $350
In this plate Irish Roman Catholic priest Father Matthew, who preached total abstinence from alcoholic beverages - rewarding those who made a pledge with a medal (at a cost of fifteen pence!) - on a visit to England presented such a medal to the abstaining poet Samuel Rogers. This was John Doyle's submission to a committee seeking various art works for decorating Parliament. $325
In this plate, Queen Victoria, who had been seated with Wellington during an entertainment she and Prince Albert had at Windsor, noticed than when she rose to leave all her subjects rose as well - except the dozing Duke. Playfully, she tapped the Duke with her bouquet, curtseyed to him as he awake, took his arm, and laughingly led him to the room where the guests were having coffee. $375
Robert Dighton (1752-1814) & Richard Dighton (1795-1880)
Robert Dighton was a painter of portraits and decorative subjects and also an etcher of caricatures. Many of his portraits were made into prints by Carrington Bowles and beginning in the 1790s, he began to draw and etch caricatures, mostly humorous portraits. His son, Richard, followed in Robert's footsteps, producing caricatures in the same style after his father's death in 1814. Robert Dighton achieved some notoriety when he was found to have taken some Rembrandt etchings, without permission, from the British Museum. The caricatures of the Dightons prefigured the Vanity Fair portraits of the late nineteenth century period.
Robert Dighton. "A View from Magdalen Hall, Oxford." London: Robert Dighton, June 1808. Etching on wove paper. 10 x 7 (image) plus borders. Hand color. Very good condition. George, Brit. Mus. Catalogue, 11074.
A nice example of Dighton's caricature portrait style. Depicted is Dr. Henry Ford wearing his academic gowns. He matriculated in 1776 and from 1788 to 1813 was a professor of Arabic. $325
Richard Dighton. "Seyd umschlungen, Millionen!" (Nathan Mayer Rothschild). London: 1817. 10 x 7 3/4. Original hand color. Full margins. Some expected toning; else, good condition.
Appearing as one of Dighton's City Characters in October 1817, this portrait is also known as "A View from the Royal Exchange." Born in Frankfurt, Nathan Rothschild (1777-1836) became a textile merchant in Manchester in 1798 and a London financier in 1804. Trading in gold bullion beginning in 1809, Nathan Rothschild would eventually be accounted the wealthiest man in the world. His financial success allowed him to become the financial mainstay of the British government during more than one crisis. The title of this caricature derives from the first chorus of Schiller's 1785 Ode to Joy and translates as "Be embraced, Millions." Dighton is likely satirizing the wealthy financier embracing millions in currency, rather than humanity. $300
Richard Dighton. [Sir Moses Haim Montefiore.] London: Drawn, etched, and published by Richard Dighton, June, 1818. Reissue published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket, 1824. 11 3/4 x 8. Original hand color. Full margins. George: 14686? Very good condition.
Italian-born English philanthropist Moses Haim Montefiore (1784-1885) was raised and went to school in London, then was apprenticed to a provision merchant. Later, he entered a counting-house in London, eventually becoming one of the twelve Jewish brokers then licensed by the city. In 1812 Montefiore married Judith, daughter of Levi Barent Cohen. His brother Abraham joined him in a business partnership until 1816; as brokers for Nathan Rothschild the brothers became quite wealthy. Moses was able to retire from the Stock Exchange in 1821, and in 1824 he assisted in founding the Alliance Assurance Company, of which he was the first president. $400
Richard Dighton. "Is Friend Rothschild on 'Change." (Samuel Gurney). London: Drawn, etched, and published by Richard Dighton, March 17, 1823 and inscribed in pencil "Mr. Gurney." 11 7/8 x 8 5/8. Original hand color. Full margins. Extensive spotting. Else, good condition.
A Quaker banker, Samuel Gurney (1786-1856) was a member of Parliament where he campaigned for good causes, such as the abolition of slavery. Along with Jews Sir Moses Montefiore and Nathan Mayer Rothschild, leading financiers such as John Irving and Francis Baring, and fellow Quakers, Gurney was instrumental in founding of the Alliance Assurance Company in 1824. In 1849, in the middle of the Great Famine, in which a million people died, he toured Ireland, making generous donations. He also sent money to Liberia, founded by former American slaves; a town there was named after him in 1851. He advocated for, and helped to fund, Britain's first hospital for dock workers, established in 1855 in east London. $300
Richard Dighton. "Mr. Cohen." London: Drawn, etched, and published by Richard Dighton, November 5, 1817. Reissue published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket, 1824. 8 3/4 x 6. Original hand color. Full margins. Very good condition.
This portrait is often identified as Levy Barent Cohen (1740-1808), father-in-law of banker and businessman Nathan M. Rothschild. However - despite the title on this print - some authorities claim that it is of someone named "Mr. Ripley," a name that appears on some impressions. Thomas Ripley and his son James were mathematical instrument makers in London, so possibly the image represents one of them. $300
Richard Dighton. "A Great Man on Change" (Samuel Samuel). London: Drawn, etched, and published by Richard Dighton, January, 1818. Reissue published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket, 1824. 9 3/4 x 8 5/8. Original hand color. George: 13015. Full margins. Very good condition.
Samuel Samuel (1775-1873) was a Jewish merchant in London. $400
James Gillray (1756-1815)
One of the best-known British caricaturists, James Gillray made a name for himself through his witty compositions, capable draftsmanship, and exquisite detail. Through his copious political satires on the era of King George III, he set a new standard for the genre, becoming a measure by which his successors were judged. The prints he published through Hannah Humphrey's shop in London have become archetypes for caricaturists and include such famous images as world rulers carving up the globe at dinner.
"Franco." Written in pencil in bottom margin: "Yonny Franco, a young Jew Buck, well known from the alleys of the Stock Exchange to the alleys in St. James St." London: H. Humphrey, May 25th 1800. Etching. 11 1/2 x 7 1/8. Top and side margins trimmed to neat lines. Else, very good condition.
Also known as "Large Boots," this print depicts London merchant Jacob Franco (1762-1817), a member of a prominent Sephardic Anglo-Jewish family. Some art critics believe the pigs running away from Franco indicate his Jewishness, others that their appearance at all indicates Franco converting from Judaism, and still others that the pigs recollect Edmund Burke's reference to the common people as "a swinish multitude." $425
Attributed to James Gillray. "Every Rogue is a Coward." London: Hannah Humphrey, 6 June 1801. Etching. Hand color. 10 x 14 (neat lines and plate marks). Full margins. Excellent condition.
Two riders on the road to Hounslow when Hounslow Heath was famous as a dangerous area due to highwaymen. The joke here is that each man is a highwayman and so each spontaneously assumes that the other is about to rob him. Being cowardly robbers, they spontaneously surrender to each other. A fine comedy of men, manners and understanding. $750
"A Lyoness." London: H. Humphrey, July 13th 1801. Etching. Original hand color. 13 1/2 x 9 5/8. Narrow margins. George, 9758. Very good condition.
In this scene, an obese, vulgar and arrogant-looking woman wears a very low-cut gown and a large plume with a small bunch of flowers in her hair. The woman is reputed to be Polly Goldsmid Symons (1753-1841), whose husband "Baron" Lyon de Symons was a diamond merchant, financier and loan contractor. In that period "lioness" was a term for a female celebrity. $900
James Gillray. "French Habits No. 10. Juge de Paix." London: [H. Humphrey, May 15, 1798-] Bohn ed. 1849. 10 x 7 1/2. Etching. Original hand color. $125
Attributed to James Gillray. "The Magisterial Bruisers." London: W. Humphrey, 1779. 8 x 12 3/4. Etching. Heavy laid paper. Very good condition. George 5616.
A brawl amongst magistrates in the Old Bailey. Samuel Plumbe is the Lord Mayor and William Plomer is his antagonist. A man behind Plomer resembles John Wilkes. $900
James Gillray. "Posting in Ireland." Etching. Ca. 12 x 15. Original printing, London: Hannah Humphrey, 5 April 1805; these from a later strike. Hand color. George 10478. Trimmed to title and laid down on period paper. Overall, very good condition.
Showcasing Gillray's great humor and visual wit, this print plays off English stereotypes of Irish peasants. $650
James Gillray. "The Revolution of 1831. As Prophecyed by that learned Astrologer General, Ikey Wether-bridge. to whom this plate is dedicated, (Ex officio) by his Admiring Friend the Publisher -- 'die hard, die nobly, die like demi-Gods!!!' 'It is supposed, if the dog Johnny were permitted he would soon destroy the whole Breed.'" London: S.W. Fores, 1831. 8 1/4 x 12 3/8. Etching. Original hand color. George 16690.
Left to right, William IV protruding from Windsor Castle observes Lord Grey with a broom and a Bul Dof (John Bull) sweeping reform through rat burrows (Borough politics). One rat (Wetherell) has a human head. $850
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