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.
Prints by H.W. Bunbury. London, ca. 1780. Stipple and etching by William Dickinson. Printed in brown. Full margins. Very good condition.
The precise stipple work, softly printed in brown, adds to the elegance and appeal of these delightful prints. [Denver] $165 each
George Cruickshank (1792-1878)
As a child, George Cruickshank 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 Cruickshank 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, Cruickshank 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] Cruickshank 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 Cruickshank (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 Cruickshanks' work, they also provide an insightful glimpse of 'Life in London.' $65 each.
Isaac Robert Cruickshank (1789-1856)
Like his brother George, Isaac Robert Cruickshank 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.
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
"Jumping in Sacks." Etched by Robert Cruickshank, drawn by W.H. Pyne, engraved by G. Hunt. London: Pyall & Hunt. 8 1/4 x 12 1/4. Hand colored. Paper has browned somewhat; some spotting, smudging in margins. George, 15009. [Denver]
A merry image populated with nearly every sort of British citizen, from farmer to soldier to gentleman. Seven men race, potato-sack style, as the diverse crowd alternately cheers and jeers. As with Rowlandson's "Dr. Syntax" prints, this scene includes a fine, fully realized background with well-rendered landscape and architecture - perhaps a clue to the exact subject that Cruickshank lampoons. $250
"Who's affraid!! Or Great & Glorious news for Old England!!!" London: J. Johnstone, August 1809. 8 3/4 x 12 3/4. Etching. Original hand color. Very good condition. George, 11353.
As a comic leitmotif for poets and satirists, Sir William Curtis (1752-1829) appeared often in caricature prints throughout his political career. Born into a family of sea biscuit-bakers in Wapping, Curtis was first alderman and then Lord Mayor of London. A personal friend of George IV, he appeared nonetheless as a boor to the public. Stout and illiterate, Curtis' speaking skills were said to have led, unintentionally, to the expression, "three R's: reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic," which he used as a banquet toast (not intending the pun now implied). Here, the then-alderman Curtis sails on his yacht, accompanying the British fleet en route to an embarrassing defeat at Walcheren. Adding to the disgraceful nature of the expedition was the attitude of Curtis, who sailed his sumptuous yacht with the warships as though on a pleasure trip. The artist takes aim here at the alderman's gluttony (showing empty bones, bottles, various glasses, and larder), his poor speech (writing incorrect syntax and pronunciation), and indiscretion (juxtaposing the man of leisure with naval vessels, seen outside the window) with the wit and detail that distinguish Cruickshank caricature. $600
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.
HB [John Doyle]. "John Bull trying on his 'bra' new' Grey Breeks." London: Thomas McLean, 26 March 1831. 9 1/2 x 14 1/2. Lithograph. Hand color. George 16609.
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
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.
None currently available.
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, 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.
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 Houndslow 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
James Gillray. "Hounds in Full Cry." London: Hannah Humphrey, 8 April 1800. Etching. Hand color. 9 3/4 x 13 3/4 (neat lines and plate marks). Full margins. Excellent condition.
A motley group of hounds are being trampled by a horse and rider out of control. While the dogs are in confusion, focus is on the desperate posture and stricken face of the gentleman rider. A wonderful comedy of manners by the unsurpassed Gillray. $750
Attributed to James Gillray. "The Magisterial Bruisers." London: W. Humphrey, 1779. 8x 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. "Judge Thumb." London: W. Humphrey, No. 227 Strand; [27 November 1782]-1818. 6 3/4 x 5 1/16. Etching. Hand color. On wove paper watermarked 1818. Excellent condition. George, 6123.
In 1782, Judge Francis Buller ruled that a man was allowed to beat his wife, provided that the instrument of violence was no larger around than his thumb. Even in the eighteenth century, this ruling was controversial, provoking Gillray to produce this satirical cartoon. According to one contemporary source, the artist's rendering of Buller's face was "a very striking likeness." Indeed, it is remarkably well-rendered and is clearly the object of Gillray's joke. As the working-class man in the background beats his wife with a regulation-sized stick, they serve as foils for the judge's folly. $325
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. [Denver]
Showcasing Gillray's great humor and visual wit, this print plays off English stereotypes of Irish peasants. $650
James Gillray. "The Death of Admiral Lord-Nelson, in the moment of Victory!" 13 1/2 x 10 1/2. Etching. Original issue, London: Hannah Humphrey, 23 December 1805. This strike, London: Henry G. Bohn, . Hand-colored. Conserved: backed with rice paper. Overall, very good condition. George 10442. [Denver]
In a departure from his usual wit and satire, British caricaturist James Gillray drew this memorial image, commemorating the death of Admiral Lord Nelson on the HMS Victory at the Battle of Trafalgar. As a talented and popular satirist, Gillray built his reputation on his keen interpretations of current events - a skill he employed here to help England mourn a national hero. Details are plentiful: in the distance, the French ship Redoubtable is yet visible after firing the fatal shot. British marksmen take aim from the left rear ground of the print, continuing the battle even as allegorical figure of Immortality sounds his trumpet over Nelson. Behind the fallen admiral, Britannia weeps as sailors arrive with the banner of the enemy: victory has been secured.
During his lifetime, London publisher Hannah Humphrey printed most of Gillray's caricatures. The business and the plates remained in the Humphrey family until 1835, when London publisher Henry G. Bohn saved the plates from the scrap heap. Bohn subsequently reprinted Gillray's images and issued them in a single volume of 582 plates, including this print. $600
Miss Keate, a society lady [Gillray?]. "A Back View of the Cape." 9 1/2 x 7 1/8. Etching. Original issue, London: Hannah Humphrey, 23 March 1792. This strike, London: Henry G. Bohn, . Hand-colored. Overall, very good condition. George 8190.
A fashion satire of a gentleman wearing half boots with breeches tied below the knees, powdered hair and a cape collar. $275
Miss Keate, a society lady [Gillray?]. "Neck or Nothing." 9 1/2 x 7 1/8. Etching. Original issue, London: Hannah Humphrey, 23 March 1792. This strike, London: Henry G. Bohn, . Hand-colored. Overall, very good condition. George 8191.
A fashion satire of a young gentleman in pumps, striped stockings and a profusion of scarves hiding his neck. $275
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