A specimen of Mr. K**n’s acting

description below

“The actor Kean in part as Richard III appalled as his bastard son is presented to him by its mother as a beadle holds a court order for its maintenance at 7/6d a week.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Marks, John Lewis, printmaker.
  • Title: A specimen of Mr. K**n’s acting, or, A little man of great parts! [graphic].
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by J.L. Marks, 37 Princes St., Soho – and 28 Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, [ca. 1820]

Catalog Record

820.00.00.114+

Acquired January 2020

The valley of the shadow of death

description below

“Napoleon, advancing down a gently sloping causeway of rock which traverses water and flames, is halted by ‘Leo Britannicus’ who bounds savagely towards him. He drops a short chain attached to the nose of the ‘Russian Bear’, a huge white creature at his heels. He is beset on all sides by monsters, who emerge from a background of flame, smoke, and cloud, or from the water. Beside the British Lion is a little ‘Sicilian Terrier’, barking ferociously. Death, a skeleton-like corpse, rides a mule which dashes through the air towards Napoleon, snorting flame. He wears a Spanish hat and cloak, and holds up a flaming spear and an hour-glass whose sands have almost run out. The mule’s trappings are inscribed ‘True-Royal-Spanish-Breed’. Outstripping the mule, a savage ‘Portuguese Wolf’, with the end of a broken chain attached to his collar, leaps towards Napoleon. The heads and hulders of two melancholy French officers with their necks chained together emerge from clouds to address Napoleon; they say: “Remember Junot and Remember Dupont.” Above these is the Pope’s tiara, the apex of flames, emitting thunderbolts towards Napoleon, and inscribed ‘Dreadful Descent of ye Roman Meteor’ [cf. BMSat 10970]. Immediately above Napoleon is a crescent moon inscribed ‘British-influence’ enclosing the old (dark) moon, which is ‘French Influence’. This forms the centre of a turban, and is surrounded with fiery clouds flanking the features of the Sultan, looking fiercely down at Napoleon. Blood drips from it. This is ‘The Turkish New-Moon, Rising in Blood’. Beside it (right) the head and arms of a man raising an enormous sword above Napoleon emerge from swirling flames: The ‘Spirit of Charles ye XII’ [of Sweden 1682-1718]. On the r. a double-headed Habsburg eagle swoops towards Napoleon from clouds: “- The Imperial Eagle emerging from a Cloud.” Its collar is inscribed ‘German Eagle’. From the water beyond Napoleon’s causeway, the ‘Ditch of Styx’, project the crown and hands of the drowning ‘Rex Joseph’; he is immediately under the Spanish mule ridden by Death. The water on the nearer side of the causeway, in the foreground, is the ‘Lethean Ditch’. From this (left) rats crawl towards Napoleon: “The Rhenish Confederation of Starved Rats, crawling out of the Mud [cf. British Museum Satires No. 10433].” Three frogs raise their heads from the ditch to spit: “Dutch-Frogs spitting out their spite.” A rattle-snake spits venom, and shakes its tail: “- American Rattle-Snake shaking his Tail.-” On the right, standing on a rock, is a dilapidated eagle with clipped wings, and scanty feathers: “Prussian Scare-Crow attempting to Fly -.””–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker.
  • Title: The valley of the shadow of death [graphic] / Js. Gillray invt. & ft.
  • Publication: [London] : Publish’d Septr. 24th, 1808, by H. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s Street, London, [24 September 1808]

Catalog Record

808.09.24.01+

Acquired January 2020

Committee of Taste, or, The punishment of a modern Midas

description below

“A satire on the rebuilding of Drury Lane Theatre. Whitbread, Chairman of the Committee, bestrides a barrel, the head inscribed ‘The Butt M, T’ [empty]. He has long ass’s ears and points to a table beside him on the extreme right where there is a model of a theatre with a pillared portico and pediment. This rests on a paper inscribed ‘Whitbread Copeland Holland Rolls &ca clear gains 450000!!!!!’ Next Whitbread a man sits behind a similar table littered with plans all inscribed ‘Plan of Drury Lane’. He also has ass’s ears, to which a second pair has been added in water-colour. He looks through an eye-glass, resting his right elbow on an anchor, while he holds at arm’s length the model of a theatre whose portico is flanked by two large sphinxes. A carved sun, like the emblem of the Sun Fire-Office, decorates his chair; on the right is a broad post or terminal pillar supporting a man’s head, also with ass’s ears. This rests on a volume inscribed ‘Commons’, and on its face in large letters are the words ‘Ex Nihilo Nihil Fil’; from its upper edge a signpost arm projects to the right inscribed ‘To Coventry’, showing that he is Peter Moore. Behind Whitbread (left) and partly screened by a heavy curtain is a table supporting a third model of a theatre, also with a portico. Whitbread, frowning slightly, says: “These Resolutions once carried good bye Friend Sherry Old Claimants and new Subscribers (aside) Hem! I think I have bullied the Committe [sic] properly.” His neighbour (? Lord Holland) who smiles, has a round good-humoured face; he says: “La! Mr Chairman I think my Sphynxes look Monstrous Pretty.””–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Committee of Taste, or, The punishment of a modern Midas [graphic] : dedicated (without permission) to the subscribers to the New Theatre Drury Lane.
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [1812?]

Catalog Record

812.00.00.125+

Acquired January 2020

Monsr. Alexandre in The rogueries of Nicholas

description below

“A scene from a play: a soldier admired by a lady at her dressing table stands before a table of heads and ghosts, with an elderly couple to the right.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker, artist.
  • Title: Monsr. Alexandre in The rogueries of Nicholas [graphic] / drawn & etch’d by W. Heath.
  • Publication: [Dublin] ; [London] : Pubd. 22nd Jany. 1825 by Wm. Heath at the new Panorama, 15 Grafton St., Dublin, and Henry Heath, London, [22 January 1825]

Catalog RecordĀ 

825.01.22.01+

Acquired January 2020

Four naive watercolors depicting scenes…

see description belowFour sketches depicting scenes from accounts published in periodicals of the early 1820s, including The Mirror of Literature, Amusement and Instruction, volume I, 1822-23. The drawing ‘Janvier About to Kill the Indian Who had Relieved His Hunger’ illustrates the tale of Charles Janvier, which was was first published in John Long’s Voyages and Travels of an Indian Interpreter and Trader, 1791. The Mirror published an abridged version in November 1822. Janvier and two other servants had been sent by their master, Mr. Fulton, to catch supplies of meat and fish. Saved from hunger by a passing native Canadian who gives them food, Janvier kills and eats the stranger, a fate he later inflicts on one of his fellow servants. Volume I of The Mirror also recounts the story of the ‘Rescue of the Emperor Basilius Maredo’, the final sketch in this volume. The Emperor, snagged by a stag whilst hunting, is saved by the sword of a servant who is subsequently sentenced to death for drawing his sword in the presence of the Emperor. The tale of the first sketch, ‘Sultan Mahamoud punishing a Ravisher’, is told in Knapp and Baldwin’s Newgate Calendar, 1824. The final sketch, ‘A Miser Distracted’, appears to be a depiction of Aesop’s fable ‘The Miser and his Gold’, in which a miser concentrates all his wealth into one lump of gold which he buries before it is stolen from him.

 

  • Title: [Four naive watercolors depicting scenes from accounts published in periodicals of the early 1820s] [art original].
  • Production: [England], [ca. 1823]

Catalog Record

75 A2 823

Acquired July 2020

The hostile press and the consequences of crim. con.

description below

“Kean, in the costume of Sir Giles Overreach, stands on the stage, indicated by a boarded floor surrounded by flame and smoke from the jaws of a semicircle of ferocious monsters, serpentine, scaly, and fanged, and with glaring eyeballs. The largest and most menacing is the Old Times, emitting Gall, Spite Venon [sic] Hypocricy. Towards this Kean directs his levelled rapier, saying, By the powers of Shakspeare, I defy ye all. He holds above his head a large open book: Shakspeare, which is irradiated. Almost as large as the ‘Times’ is the pendant to it: New Times, vomiting Hypocricy. The other monsters are not specified, they spit flames inscribed respectively: Spleen; Cant; Malignity; Slander; Spite; Envy; Malice; Nonsence; Oblique.”–British Museum catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, Robert, 1789-1856, printmaker.
  • Title: The hostile press and the consequences of crim. con., or, Shakspeare in danger / R. Cruikshank delt.
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. Feby. 1825 by J. Fairburn, Broadway, Ludgate Hill, [1825 February]

Catalog RecordĀ 

825.02.00.01+

Acquired January 2020

State of the giraffe

description below

“The King’s giraffe hangs limply from a sling which is suspended from a cross-beam supported on two uprights. George IV and Lady Conyngham push hard at a windlass to hoist up their pet. He has thrown off his coat and rolled up his shirt-sleeves; tight breeches define spherical posteriors. She looks up sentimentally at the animal, whose forelegs are swathed in stockings, with the feet in large shoes stamped with a crown. Beside it is an open chest of stoppered spirit bottles. A background of trees and grass indicates Windsor Park.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: State of the giraffe [graphic] / [man with an umbrella] Esqr.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket …, [ca. July 1829]

Catalog Record

829.07.00.05+

January 2020

Sailors conversing on horseback

description below

“Social satire; two sailors on horseback, one with a pipe in his hatband on a small white horse with a spotted handkerchief on a stick attached to its bridle, the other smoking a pipe on a large brown horse; they ask each other how their journeys on their horses have been, using language associated with ships, for example: “endeavouring to double the point at Mile-end she fell foul of a dray, and smack she lay me keel upermost in a stinking ditch … I hoisted my pocket handkerchief on her topmast as a sign of distress, which was seen by some comrades at anchor in the moorings. …”.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Roberts, Piercy, active 1791-1805, printmaker.
  • Title: Sailors conversing on horseback [graphic] / Woodward del. ; etch’d by Roberts.
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by P. Roberts, 28 Middle-row, Holborn, [ca. 1803]

Catalog Record

803.00.00.52+

Acquired September 2020

Riding apparatus for timid horsemen

description below

An older gentleman is on horseback strapped into a contraption that limits the horses movement (as such, it won’t move above a trot pace), limits any jolting movements and also provides shade and cover through the attachment of an umbrella. In the left background, a horseman struggles to control his horse as a panicked lady watches on and his top hat flies off behind him. To the right a male onlooker peers through his monocle in awe of the timid horsemen’s contraption.

 

  • Title: Riding apparatus for timid horsemen [graphic].
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket, Jan. 1, 1830.
  • Manufacture: [London] : Printed by J. Netherclift.

Catalog Record

830.01.01.09+

Acquired November 2020