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  • Princely Piety, or the worshippers at Wanstead,

    £595 Stock code: A080
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    Princely Piety, or the worshippers at Wanstead,

    A hand-coloured etching by the caricaturist George Cruikshank depicting the wooing of a wealthy young heiress by a cast of reprobate suitors. Upon the death of her only brother James at the age of 11 in 1805 Catherine Tylney-Long became the richest commoner in England in her own right. At the tender of of 16 the 'Wiltshire Heiress' had come into a fortune of nearly £30,000,000 in today's money. This made the poor girl a prime target for every fortune hunter and indebted rake in England who wished to clear his creditors. The law as it stood in the early 19th Century had degenerated to such a degree that, under the principle of coverture, it denied a married woman any property at all in her own right while her legal existence as a feme covert was entirely subsumed in that of her husband. This left the wealthy orphan daughter of Sir James Tylney long, 7th Baronet in a difficult and precarious position, caught between the social stigma attached to unmarried womanhood and the appeals of a host of insinuating cads seeking her hand in marriage. Here Cruikshank depicts the many and assorted indigent suitors for the hand of the wealthy heiress. To the left of the dais are shown Lord Kilworth and William Wesley-Pole, later 4th Earl of Mornington a dissipated Anglo-Irish nobleman, who dueled over the courtship of Catherine. Kneeling at the foot of the steps we may also see the figure of Romeo Coates, unintentionally comic actor and 'improver' of Shakespeare included apparently 'not because of his pretensions, but his boasts and wishes'. Above him we see the fop and jobbing playwright, Sir Lumley Skeffington laying his poetic efforts at the feet of the heiress. On the right hand we see The Duke of Clarence, later William IV who by this point had debts of many hundreds of thousands of pounds holding back Baron-de-Geramb, a Spanish military adventurer and suspected Napoleonic spy who later became a Trappist monk where he used his position as procurator-general of that ancient order to defray his personal expenses. Above the Duke we see reproving the figure of Mrs Jordan, his 'common-law' wife with whom he had fathered many children at his retreat of Bushey Park. The farcical presentation of the situation belies it's tragic outcome. Perhaps cajoled by just such unkind insinuations as are repeated in this caricature Catherine would choose the worst-of-the-bunch, William Wesley-Pole, as her preferred suitor. William Wesley-Pole-Tylney-Long, as he became by Royal Licence in 1812, was an unredeemed rake and not only abused and impoverished his saintly young wife but also passed her a debilitating infection and caused her family seat at Wanstead House to be demolished and sold for salvage. After a short and unhappy marriage Catherine died at the age of only 35 after receiving a final brutal letter from her estranged husband, the contents of which apparently caused her to have some form of seizure. Frustrated in his efforts to gain custody of their son William, on whom the family fortune had devolved, William Pole Tylney-Long-Wellesley, 4th Earl of Mornington (the final name by which he was known) died in 1857 unwept, unhonoured and unsung if also unrepentant. His obituary in the Morning Star described him as "A spendthrift, a profligate, and a gambler in his youth, he became debauched in his manhood... redeemed by no single virtue, adorned by no single grace, his life gone out even without a flicker of repentance".
    Dimensions: 32.5cm (12¾") High, 51.5cm (20¼") Wide
    Stock code: A080
    £595
  • Old Maid on a Journey,

    £450 Stock code: A082
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    Old Maid on a Journey,

    An original framed hand-coloured etching and engraving by caricaturist James Gillray. The corpulent figure of the independent polymath, antiquarian and collector Miss Sarah Sophia Banks is depicted being shown into the best bedroom of an Inn followed by a grotesque retinue of gurning servants carrying her assorted baggage. Miss Banks was a prolific collector of printed emphemera including broadsheets, newspaper clippings, visiting cards, caricatures, advertisements and playbills as well as being a leading numismatist of her day. Her great library of volumes on ancient coins as well as her capacious collection of the coins themselves was gifted to the nation upon her death and are now spread over the Royal Mint, The British Library and British Museum. One of the 18th Century's brilliant but unacknowledged women, Sarah Banks was the sister of the famous botanist Joseph Banks who sailed with Captain Cook to New South Wales. According to recent scholarship as well as editing her brother's manuscripts she often conversed with him on their subjects and many of her ideas were incorporated into his writings. Perhaps puzzlingly, given the warm and close friendship which was said to exist between Gillray and his wealthy female patron, Miss Banks is depicted as a obscenely fat and ugly. One can only speculate on the nature of the comedy and manners of the time (not to mention the sense of humour of the subject) when interpreting the comic effect of this print.
    Dimensions: 33.5cm (13¼") High, 45.5cm (18") Wide, Including frame.
    Stock code: A082
    £450
  • Awkward Squads Studying the Graces

    £395 Stock code: AD1506
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    Awkward Squads Studying the Graces

    A framed, hand-colored etching by Thomas Rowlandson after G. M. Woodward, published by Thomas Tegg. Six comic, caricatured society types are cajoled and corrected by French dancing masters into performing the steps of a fashionable new dance. By the late 18th Century the term 'awkward squad' had passed from military cant into common usage as a description of a group of raw recruits incapable of understanding discipline or not yet sufficiently trained or disciplined to properly carry out their duties. Here Rowlandson, in one of his favourite recurring themes, lampoons the modish aspirations of the would-be fashionable set as they are 'drilled' by their hired dancing masters.  
    Dimensions: 28cm (11") High, 39.5cm (15½") Wide, 1.5cm (0½") Deep
    Stock code: AD1506
    £395
  • A View from the Old South Sea House

    £370 Stock code: A094
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    A View from the Old South Sea House

    A hand-coloured etching by the Regency satirist Richard Dighton showing the brewer James Curtis. Richard Dighton was the son and apprentice of another noted caricaturist Robert Dighton and brother of the battle-scene painter Denis Dighton. The works of Robert and Richard Dighton are regarded as predecessors of the Vanity Fair style of the late nineteenth century. The series of portraits of City and West End characters to which this etching belongs was started in 1817 and Dighton would go on to  publish a number of etchings during the next decade before retiring early to Cheltenham. This edition, of 1824, was printed by Thomas McLean Printseller & Publisher at 26 Haymarket, on the eastern side just north of Panton Street. The subject of the print, James Curtis, was a prominent and prosperous London brewer of the early 19th Century and his portrait, painted by Thomas Lawrence, now hangs in the Manchester Art Gallery. The Old South Sea House mentioned was located on the Threadneedle Street corner of Bishopsgate. The back of it apparently burned down in 1826 and was subsequently rebuilt. The building was the headquarters of the South Sea Company. Incorporated in 1711, the company was assigned a monopoly on British trade with Spanish America but, when that failed, it embarked upon a speculative scheme that ended in the economic collapse known as the ‘South Sea Bubble’ which saw many investors ruined. The building was partly remodeled in the 1850s and was eventually demolished at the end of the 19th century  
    Dimensions: 40.64cm (16") Wide, 50.8cm (20") Long
    Stock code: A094
    £370
  • Seven Shilling Pieces

    £200 Stock code: A096
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    Seven Shilling Pieces

    A hand coloured Georgian satire on the cost of female companionship at the Covent Garden Opera. Two courtesans fashionably dressed in the style of the period are shown arm-in-arm, walking along a pavement. One (right) holds up an open sunshade and a card inscribed 'Miss Oldprice Covent Garden'.
    Dimensions: 47.5cm (18¾") High, 36.5cm (14¼") Wide, 1.5cm (0½") Thick
    Stock code: A096
    £200
  • The Ball,

    £180 Stock code: A086
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    The Ball,

    hand-coloured copper engraving published circa 1800, framed
    Dimensions: 1cm (0½") Wide
    Stock code: A086
    £180
  • A Match for the King’s Plate,

    £180 Stock code: A095
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    A Match for the King’s Plate,

    A hand coloured etching by George Cruikshank commenting on the contest for seat of Westminster. George Lamb and John Cam Hobhouse, 1st Baron Broughton are shown astride a lamb, Sir Francis Burdett, 5th Baronet, on a fine but injured charger and Henry 'Orator' Hunt straggles behind on an old carthorse representing the 'Father of Reform' Major John Cartwright. All five figures are shown racing for the winning post at the gate of His Majesty's Treasury with an implication that the contest is for one for both power and political patronage while the twin devils or radical reform and universal suffrage inadvertently 'steal a ride' on the Baronet's charger. The election of 1818 was the first to be staged after the end of the Napoleonic wars and was to become both a distillation of the latent class-conflicts bubbling over in the United Kingdom, and a fore-warning of the growth of militant radicalism that was to envenom and fracture British politics in the early parts of the 19th Century. Sir Francis Burdett was the Radical incumbent in Westminster and yet was firmly set against the new Radicalism which was beginning to colour the politics of the manufacturing districts of the North. This extreme and confident movement for universal manhood suffrage and political reform was by now associated with Henry Hunt, Major Cartwright and the writer and journalist William Cobbett. Caught in a cleft stick by his need both to mollify the prosperous and respectable Westminster electorate and yet maintain his own character as a tribune of the plebeians and Radical leader, Burdett was in a classic political double-bind. To the eye of the exiled Cobbett the Baronet was a placeman and an establishment 'traitor' but to his Tory opponents and the wavering freeholders and burgesses of Westminster he was beginning to appear a dangerous extremist. The suicide of Sir Samuel Romilly, the second member for Westminster, in November 1818 threw the situation wide open and the resulting by-election became something of a national sensation.      
    Dimensions: 30.48cm (12") High, 38.1cm (15") Wide
    Stock code: A095
    £180

Featured Items

  • The Sun by André Masson, Verve Vol. 1 / No. 2.

    £600 Stock code: P01272 B
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    The Sun by André Masson, Verve Vol. 1 / No. 2.

    The Verve Review was a purposefully luxurious. It ran from 1937 to 1960, but with only 38 editions available, due to the high degree of design and editorial work dedicated to each issue. Each edition contained unique lithographic prints, commissioned by the editor, and each cover a double-page lithograph elaborated by one of the artists contained within. It was the brainchild of its editor Stratis Eleftheriades, a Greek National who moved to Paris in the early thirties to take part in the growing Modernist movement, writing under the name of Teriade.
    Dimensions: 51cm (20") High, 40cm (15¾") Wide, 2cm (0¾") Deep
    Stock code: P01272 B
    £600
  • Portraits Part II by Constantin Guys, Verve Vol 2 / No. 5-6.

    £500 Stock code: P01275 E
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    Portraits Part II by Constantin Guys, Verve Vol 2 / No. 5-6.

    The Verve Review was a purposefully luxurious. It ran from 1937 to 1960, but with only 38 editions available, due to the high degree of design and editorial work dedicated to each issue. Each edition contained unique lithographic prints, commissioned by the editor, and each cover a double-page lithograph elaborated by one of the artists contained within. It was the brainchild of its editor Stratis Eleftheriades, a Greek National who moved to Paris in the early thirties to take part in the growing Modernist movement, writing under the name of Teriade.
    Dimensions: 51cm (20") High, 40cm (15¾") Wide, 2cm (0¾") Deep
    Stock code: P01275 E
    £500
  • Figure by Georges Braque, Verve Vol 2 / No. 5-6.

    £800 Stock code: P01275 B
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    Figure by Georges Braque, Verve Vol 2 / No. 5-6.

    The Verve Review was a purposefully luxurious. It ran from 1937 to 1960, but with only 38 editions available, due to the high degree of design and editorial work dedicated to each issue. Each edition contained unique lithographic prints, commissioned by the editor, and each cover a double-page lithograph elaborated by one of the artists contained within. It was the brainchild of its editor Stratis Eleftheriades, a Greek National who moved to Paris in the early thirties to take part in the growing Modernist movement, writing under the name of Teriade.
    Dimensions: 51cm (20") High, 40cm (15¾") Wide, 2cm (0¾") Deep
    Stock code: P01275 B
    £800
  • Henri Matisse, 'The Last Works of Henri Matisse'

    Henri Matisse, ‘The Last Works of Henri Matisse’

    £900 each Stock code: P01059Z AZ
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    Henri Matisse, ‘The Last Works of Henri Matisse’

    From Verve Vol. IX No. 35/36 published by Tériade under the title 'The Last Works of Henri Matisse'
    Dimensions: 51cm (20") High, 40cm (15¾") Wide, 2cm (0¾") Deep
    Stock code: P01059Z AZ
    £900 each