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Prints by William Hogarth

Issued in 1790 from the original plates


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Prints by William Hogarth. From The Original Works of William Hogarth. London: John & Josiah Boydell, 1790. Engravings by William Hogarth. On hand laid paper. Excellent impressions. Some light foxing to paper, but overall very good condition.

William Hogarth (1697-1764) is considered by many to be the greatest English caricaturist of all time. He was an perceptive observer and his illustrations of the social and political conduct of his day are fascinating historical documents and humorous depictions of human foibles, which have remained much the same over the last two centuries. Hogarth was a painter of considerable accomplishment, but it is for his remarkable prints, which he both composed and engraved, that he is best known.

Originally, Hogarth sold his prints in his own shop, as well as through other print sellers in London. In the mid-1730s he began also to sell his prints in bound form. Hogarth's fame spread and his popularity grew. However, while his prints sold well, Hogarth was constantly bothered by the sale of cheap copies. In response, he was instrumental in the 1735 passage of the Engravers' Copyright Act, often called "Hogarth's Act," which prohibited the unauthorized copying of a print for fourteen years following its publication. Early in his career, a number of Hogarth's plates were acquired by other print sellers, but most he retained in his possession until his death, leaving them in his will to his widow, Jane Hogarth. Jane continued to issue prints from these plates and she was able to secure an extended copyright of 20 years beginning in 1767. Upon Jane's death in 1789, the plates passed into the possession of printmaker, John Boydell. Boydell sold prints taken from these original plates as separate images "suitable for framing," but also in 1790, the year he was Lord Mayor of London, Boydell issued an atlas folio with 103 prints entitled The Original Works of William Hogarth.

Boydell reissued the folio twice, and the plates were later acquired by Baldwin, Cradock & Joy in 1818. They were then reissued after being "restored" by James Heath, and were continued to be run off throughout the nineteenth century. Besides these many reprints of Hogarth's original plates, there were many copies done in different sizes by different engravers from Hogarth's time through the following centuries. The prints from the Boydell folios, which have become quite rare, are the last done from the original plates in the eighteenth century, and these from the 1790 edition, retain the detail and richness of impression which marks them as early strikes.

[ Sets of prints | Full sheet images | Smaller images | After Hogarth ]


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Sets of Prints

"Four Stages of Cruelty." London: Baldwin, Cradrock and Joy, ca. 1820. Each approx. 14 x 11 3/4. From the original engraved plates of 1751. Very good condition. Four prints: "First Stage of Cruelty;" "Second Stage of Cruelty;" "Cruelty in Perfection;" "The Reward of Cruelty." For the set: $1,400

"The Invasion." ["France" and "England"] Pair of prints. Each 11 1/2 x 14 3/4. For the pair: $1,600

"Marriage A-la-Mode." London: Baldwin, Cradrock and Joy, ca. 1820. Each approx. 14 x 17 1/2. From the original engraved plates of 1745. Very good condition. Six prints. For the set: $2,000


Full sheet images

March to Finchley
[The March to Finchley]
16 1/4 x 21 1/2. $1,200

"Tail Piece: The Bathos." 10 1/4 x 12 7/8. $950



Smaller images

[A Stand of Arms, Musical Instruments, etc.] (Subscription ticket) 6 3/4 x 7 3/4. $150

[Crowns, Mitres, Maces, etc] (Subscription ticket) Fourth State. 7 1/4 x 9 1/4 (plate mark). $150

[Hymen and Cupid.] Oval 6 x 7 1/2. $125


Print after, but not engraved by, Hogarth:

"The Politician." 13 x 10 1/2. $650

T. Cook. "Harlot's Progress." London: G.G. & J. Robinson, 1798. Set of six. Each 11 3/4 x 14 3/4. $750

T. Cook. "Four Stages of Cruelty." London: G.G. & J. Robinson, 1799. Set of four. Each 16 x 12 3/4. $500

T. Cook. "Industry and Idleness." London: G.G. & J. Robinson, 1795. Set of twelve. Each 10 1/4 x 13 1/2. $1500

T. Cook. "The Invasion." ["France" and "England"] London: G.G. & J. Robinson, 1798-99. Pair of prints. Each 11 1/2 x 14 3/4. For the pair: $500



[ Sets of prints | Full sheet images | Smaller images | After Hogarth ]



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©The Philadelphia Print Shop, Ltd. Last updated August 1, 2014