Gillray’s Sale of English Beauties and Books

Picture11When the London book and print dealer William Holland announced the sale of a new print by James Gillray entitled The Sale of English Beauties in the East Indies, he also listed the books available for sale in his shop. This is interesting because within Gillray’s print is a box of books that has been shipped to India along with a group of prostitutes. Since Holland’s partner, George Peacock, was a dealer in adult books such as Fanny Hill, this may have been an early example of product placement.

The copy of this print in the Graphic Arts collection is unfortunately damaged in the bottom left corner, obscuring the text on the box by the auctioneer. Happily, the British Museum’s print is complete, and we can read the titles of the books included in this shipment. The box is inscribed: For the Amusement of Military Gentlemen. Crazy Tales; Pucelle; Birchini’s Dance; Elements of Nature; Female Flagellants Fanny Hill; Sopha; and Moral Tales.

princeton            box of books

Princeton University on the left and British Museum on the right.

Here are a few of the titles that Gillray imagined would have been included ‘for the amusement of military gentlemen.’
crazy tales gillray
fanny hill gillray

moral tales         sophia
pucelle gillray

After nearly 25 years, another print/book dealer Thomas Tegg commissioned a new edition of Gillray’s print by Thomas Rowlandson. The great British caricature historian Dorothy George

tegg's shop2notes in her Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires that a decision was made to include only the first, second, and fourth book titles given in Gillray’s print; that is, Birchini’s Dance, the Female Flagellants Fanny Hill, Sopha, and Moral Tales are no longer being shipped. Perhaps the books were out-of-print?

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hordernRowlandson’s version above. This is the beginning of a longer paper. Any comments are welcome.

Joe Jefferson, the Painter

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Joseph Jefferson (1829-1905), Untitled [Landscape], 1905. Oil on canvas. Signed and dated: “J. Jefferson // 95″. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2006.02631.

jefferson, landscape3The actor Joseph Jefferson, best known for his performance as Rip Van Winkle, was also a talented painter. If the date on the work in the Graphic Arts Collection is 1895, the painting was probably included in his 1901 Washington D.C. exhibition, admired and reviewed by Willa Cather in her 1901 essay “Joe Jefferson, the Painter.” See: Willa Cather (1873-1947), The world and the parish; Willa Cather’s articles and reviews, 1893-1902 (1970). Firestone Library (F) PS3505.A87 A16 1970

A second review by A.D. Albert Jr. begins, “On the occasion of a recent exhibition of paintings by Mr. Joseph Jefferson, the artist was present and joined frankly in the criticisms of those professionals and students who were in attendance. His evident pleasure in intelligent compliment and the eagerness with which he argued for the mood of particular paintings indicated unmistakably the spirit of earnestness and affection out of which the pictures have grown.

…Those of Mr. Jefferson’s critics who have seen him as Caleb Plummer or Rip Van Winkle insist, unconsciously perhaps, on regarding his paintings as the “aside” of a great character of the stage, or the studies of a dilettante. …There is too much merit in the work to warrant any study of it except as the ripened productions of a true student of nature. No concessions are necessary because Mr. Jefferson has done other things well or allowances required because his appearance as a painter is one of the later manifestations of his artistic temperament.

That any man whose life has been so busy could acquire a deep insight into the art-spirit of trees and rolling hills is not often to be expected, probably; but when that insight once speaks in serious purpose to express itself it deserves to be taken seriously and the expression judged solely on its merits.”–A.D. Albert Jr., “Mr. Joseph Jefferson as a Painter,” The Critic 39 (1901).

jefferson, landscape

Exhibition catalogue auctioned

Congratulations to our colleague Andrea Immel and the others involved in the exhibition One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature at the Grolier Club in New York. A uniquely bound catalogue for the exhibit, curated by Chris Loker with contributions by Immel and six others, was auctioned off tonight for a winning bid of $20,000.

121913A number of loans from the Cotsen Children’s Library can be seen in the exhibition, which presents 100 children’s books printed from 1600 to 2000. Among the volumes on display are Robinson Crusoe, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Tom Sawyer, Where the Wild Things Are, and Harry Potter. Immel was part of an international team of children’s book scholars chosen by Loker to make the difficult selection. Shown with the 100 books are also 50 historic artifacts that demonstrate the interrelationships between the famous books and the culture of their era.

One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature is the sixth in a notable series of “Grolier Hundred” exhibitions. The Grolier Club previously has organized only five such exhibitions in its 130-year history, focusing on English literature (1902), American literature (1946), science (1958), medicine (1994) and fine printed books (1999).

Letters to Anna

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Brody Neuenschwander, Letters to Anna. Photos by John Decoene and drawings by Peter Jonckheere (Belgium: Neuenschwander, 2014). Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2015- in process. Gift of Alfred Bush.

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“The freedom of the book format is astonishing,” writes Brody Neuenschwander, Class of 1981. “The order of the pages continues to change, bringing new combinations into being. Of course, you have to settle on a final order at some point. Or perhaps not. Books do not have to be bound…”

Neuenschwander’s new book Letters to Anna is a good example of a successful unbound book. Together with photos by John Decoene and drawings by Peter Jonckheere, the 120 pages can be rearranged to produce new texts.

Completed in 2014, Neuenschwander’s artists’ book is sold to raise money for children at risk, through a program run by the King Boudewijn Foundation in Belgium. Special thanks go to Alfred Bush for his generous gift to the Graphic Arts Collection.

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Bunbury’s designs after Tristram Shandy

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Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811), “The Siege of Namur by Captain Shandy and Corporal Trim” from Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, no date [1772]. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2011.00548.

 lwlpr03585 thomas_rowlandson_the_siege_of_namur_by_captain_shandy_and_corporal_tr_d5771657hUndated etching from the Walpole Library attributed to Thomas Rowlandson [left] and a drawing sold by Christies also attributed to Rowlandson [right]. After Bunbury’s design but note the difference on the door on the far right.

Laurence Sterne is “the most illustrated novelist of the eighteenth century,” writes Peter de Voogd. “The English language editions alone yield well over 1,300 different illustrations and the field is so vast that it must be subdivided.” [“Sterne and Visual Culture” in The Cambridge Companion to Laurence Sterne (2009)]. Sterne’s The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman was published in nine volumes, the first two appearing in 1759 and the last in 1767.

A series of etchings were designed in 1772 by the amateur draughtsman Henry William Bunbury, including “The Overthrow of Dr. Slop,” “The Battle of the Cataplasm,” “The Siege of Namur,” and “The Damnation of Obadiah.” This set was inspired by Sterne’s book but never bound with the text. They were published by James Bertherton in 1773; re-etched and published in 1799 by S.W. Fores; and then, lithographed in 1815-17.

Princeton’s Graphic Arts Collection owns several prints etched by Bunbury before the Bertherton edition, including one laterally reversed from the final published print. Although Thomas Rowlandson prepared two plates for a later bound edition of Tristram Shandy, they are different images, not the same as Bunbury’s designs.
bunbury shandy3Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811), “The Damnation of Obadiah” from Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, no date [ca.1772]. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2011.00546. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

bunbury shandy4Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811), “The Overthrow of Dr. Slop” from Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, no date [ca.1772]. Hand colored etching. GA 2011.00547. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

bunbury shandy2James Bretherton (active 1770-1781) after Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811), “The Overthrow of Dr. Slop” from Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, 3 February 1773. Etching. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2011.00506. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, Class of 1895.

Beneath the design is engraved, “When Obadiah & his Coach Horse turn’d the Corner rapid, furious, pop, full upon him – nothing I think in Nature can be supposed more terrible than such a rencounter – Obadiah pull’d of [sic] his Cap twice to Dr Slop, once when he was falling & again when he saw him seated.”


bunbury shandy1James Bretherton (active 1770-1781) after Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811), “The Battle of the Cataplasm” from Life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, 3 February 1773. Hand colored etching. Graphic Arts Collection, GA 2011.00505. 1773/02/03. Gift of Dickson Q. Brown, class of 1895.

Beneath the design is engraved, “Susannah, rowing one way & looking another, set fire to Dr. Slop’s Wig, which being somewhat bushy & unctuous withal was as soon burnt as kindled – You impudent Whore cried Slop (for what is passion but a wild Beast) You impudent Whore cried Slop getting upright with the Cataplasm in his hand – I never was at the destruction of any body’s nose said Susannah, which is more than you can say; – Is it? cried Slop, throwing the Cataplasm in her face – Yes it is cried Susannah returning the Complement with what was left in the pan”

Gerald Kenneth Geerlings’ winning etching

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Gerald Kenneth Geerlings (born 1897-1998), Grand Canal, America (also called Electrical Building at Night) [Chicago Fair], 1933. Etching and drypoint on yellow/green paper. Graphic Arts Collection GA 2007.01331

The American artist Gerald Geerlings was awarded first prize for the best etching at the 1933 “Century of Progress,” Chicago World’s Fair. Click here to view a large photographic panorama of century of progress from the Library of Congress collection.geerling at night2

According to the Chicago Tribune‘s 1934 World’s Fair Notes I: “In two seasons the 85,000 lights at the Fair have cost $800,000 forty. According to J. L. McConnell, construction chief, 35,000 of them have been broken or replaced. The largest was a 3,000 watt arc and the smallest a 73h watt bulb.” [Chicago Tribune 10/21/1934]

“[Shepard] Vogelgesang collaborated with J. L. McConnell, the director of electrical effects, to get an idea of how to effectively merge color and light at night. Illumination in 1934 was reported to be about fifty per cent greater than in 1933. Two scintillators shot variegated patterns of colored light into the sky. The most spectacular new feature of the 1934 fair was the huge new fountain which was illuminated and colored by submarine flood lights extending the length of the fountain. The ever changing lights could be controlled either automatically or by hand.” [Century of Progress website]

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Devils, Dragons, and Monsters

general frostWilliam Elmes (active 1804-1816), General Frost Shaveing Little Boney, 1 December 1812. Hand-colored etching. “Invade My Country indeed-I’ll Shave-Freeze-and Bury you in Snow-You little Monkey.”

genius of bazaar arrived


John Cawse (1778-1862), Genius, of Bazaar arrived at London, 29 May 1816. Hand-colored etching.

“This Monster who is a Native of Turkey has lately made his appearance in London & such is his power that by first appearing in Soho he got Acquainted with Mr Tr-t-r sinse which he has Spread Destruction through all the best houses in Town to the Great anoyance of all poor Shop-keepers.”

witches in a hay loftThomas Rowlandson (1757-1827) after George Moutard Woodward (ca.1760-1809), Witches in a Hay Loft, 29 April 1807. Hand-colored etchng.

malignant aspects looking with envy2

malignant aspects looking with envyCharles Williams (1797-1830), Malignant Aspects Looking with Envy on John Bull and His Satelites, or a New Planetary System, 21 October 1807. Hand-colored etching.

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J. Lewis Marks (ca.1796-1855),The Tyrant Overtaken by Justice is Excluded from the World, May 1814. Hand-colored etching.

tyrant overtaken by justice

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Unidentified artist, The Devil and Doctor Fostus or a finishing dose for poor Hibernia, no date [1809?]. Hand-colored etching.

“Doctor Fostus’s invaluable remedy for Bankruptcies, poverty, distress, Nakedness, loss of trade, starvation, and all other Calamities incident to a long oppress’d and suffering people—the Doctor ever anxious to promote the Welfare of Ireland now offers his anti gallic Quintessence to the scrutinising eye of an enlightened populice [sic], with the trifleing advance of 50. pr cent, occasioned by the highly beneficial useful & necessary war, and happy success of our late & present glorious Expeditions— this Noble Medecine is composed of all the Doctors former & present happy compositions—a single Dose of which acts so powerfully on the Nervous System as to rid the patient of all his Earthly Infirmities—”devil and doctor fostus


malignant aspects looking with envy3Found in: George M. Woodward (ca.1760-1809), The Caricature Magazine, or, Hudibrastic Mirror ([London] : Tegg, [1807-1820]). Graphic Arts Collection (GA) Kane Room Rowlandson 1807.5f

Trees and Shrubs of Fife and Kinross

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John Jeffrey and Charles Howie. The Trees and Shrubs of Fife and Kinross (Leith: printed for private circulation by Reid & Son, 1879). Photographic negatives by Andrew Young, of Burntisland, printed as woodburytypes by Lock & Whtfield of London. Graphic Arts Collection (GAX) Oversize 2006-0145F

trees of fife9   trees of fife6

The Graphic Arts Collection holds one of 100 privately printed volumes offering an arboricultural study of Scotland. “The following pages are the result of numerous wanderings through the counties of Fife and Kinross during the summers of 1875-6-7-8. The localities visited, and the many fine specimens of Trees and Shrubs which came under our notice, afforded us both pleasure and instruction, and in submitting our observations for perusal, our chief object will be fulfilled if we can interest the Reader in the subject of Arboriculture, or contribute a little to the information and enjoyment of any lover of nature.”-from the Preface.
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The following is a selection from the “Obituary Notice of John Jeffrey, Balsusney,” by C. Howie, St Andrews.

John Jeffrey, Balsusney, Kirkcaldy, along with his brothers, succeeded to an extensive linen manufacturing business, carried on by their father in Kirkcaldy and the west of Scotland. . . . As a relief from the constant routine of an industrious life, he betook himself to the culture of trees and shrubs, planting his park by the side of his works with choice specimens. . . . the recreative study of plant life in the field was his delight, nothing being more pleasing to him than the sight of some majestic tree that stood forth among its contemporaries. He resolved, in conjunction with the writer, to register the dimensions of trees in the Fife district, a dendrometer being obtained from Mr Sang of Kirkcaldy for ascertaining the height.

When Mr Jeffrey resolved to publish, we restricted our pursuits only to taking note of the largest trees, and those of more recent introduction . . . no expense was spared in photographing specimens, the plates being forwarded to London to undergo the Woodbury process. There were only 100 copies printed of this labour of love, many were given away to friends, and the rest were readily disposed of. A copy was presented to the then prime minister, with the authors’ compliments. –Transactions and Proceedings, vol. 17-18 (Botanical Society of Edinburgh, 1889).

trees of fife

Engraved musical tutors “rendered easy”

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The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired a Collection of Seven Musical Tutors, for Instruction in Playing the Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Bassoon or Fagotto, Violin, Violoncello, and German Flute (London: [1800-1830s]). Each of the seven engraved booklets run approximately 30 pages with covers and advertising included. A label on the front board is lettered in gilt “T. Eaton/ 1834.” Here are a few examples.

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