Category Archives: prints and drawings

prints and drawings

Love in a Village

Charles Grignion (1721-1810) after Francis Wheatley (1747-1801), Love in a Village,1791. Etching and engraving. Proof before lettering. Graphic Arts Collection, recently discovered.

John Bell (1745-1831) commissioned a number of designs for his series Bell’s British Theatre to be engraved as frontispieces. The final print for Love in a Village has the title of the play, quotation and reference: ‘Will you accept of them for youself them / Act 1. Scene [obscured]; above the roundel, partly obscured ‘British Theatre’; below the image ‘Wheatly delin. / Grignion scu. / London Printed for I. Bell British Library Strand Jany. 6th. 1791.’.

“Concurrently with work for Boydell, [Francis] Wheatley was also engaged by John Bell, the publisher, to execute a number of vignettes for the charming little series of “Bell’s Theatre,” and five of these vignettes are by him . . . and the dates extend from 1791-1792. . . . sold for £20, and two small portraits of actresses for 33 guineas.”—William Roberts, F. Wheatley, R.A. His Life and Works (1910)

Love in a Village was a comic opera in three acts composed and arranged by Thomas Arne (1710-1778) with a libretto by Isaac Bickerstaffe (1733-1812), based on Charles Johnson’s 1729 play The Village Opera. It premiered at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden in London on December 8, 1762. The opera was revived numerous times, both during Arne’s lifetime and after, with multiple published versions and visualizations.

“In 1792 Bell’s English Theatre, an amalgam of parts of the Shakespeare and the British Theatre, was published in 14 volumes. After his first bankrupcy in 1793 much of his stock was acquired by James Barker who published the “acting” Shakespeare and sixty plays from the British Theatre in the following year. In 1795-96 Bell was involved in a law suit with George Cawthorn who was eventually awarded all future profits of the British Theatre and was allowed to use “The British Library” on his title pages; c. 1804, Cawthorn was succeeded by John Cawthorn (qq.v.). Bell was bankrupt again in 1797, but his fortunes revived and by his death at the age of 86 he owned a house in Fulham, carriages and horses, as well as a collection of works of art.”


Johann Zoffany (1733–1810), A Scene from “Love in a Village” by Isaac Bickerstaffe. Act 1, Scene 2, with Edward Shuter as Justice Woodcock, John Beard as Hawthorn, and John Dunstall as Hodge, 1767. Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art


American Revolutionaries by Esnauts et Rapilly

What do these men have in common, besides the same hat?

They are part of a series of portraits of American revolutionary officers, published in Paris during the 1770s by partners Jacques Esnault (1739-1812, also written Esnauts) and Michel Rapilly (1740-1797?), whose shop was located at no. 259 rue Saint Jacques. Each portrait uses the same cartouche with a shield, cannon, and banner, some laterally reversed. Most of the prints held in the Graphic Arts Collection are before the complete caption, signature, or number at the top.


The portraits in the Graphic Arts Collection (both catalogued and recently found) include:

Israel Putnam (1718-1790), an American army general officer, popularly known as Old Put, who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War.

Charles Lee (1732-1782), a general of the Continental Army during the American War of Independence. He also served earlier in the British Army during the Seven Years War.

Horatio Lloyd Gates (1727-1806), a retired British soldier who served as an American general during the Revolutionary War.

George Washington (1732-1799), an American general and the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797.

John Hancock (1737-1793) an American merchant and president of the Second Continental Congress.

John Sullivan (1740-1795), an Irish-American General in the Revolutionary War, a delegate in the Continental Congress, Governor of New Hampshire and a United States federal judge.

George Brydges Rodney (1718-1792), 1st Baron Rodney, KB, a British naval officer. He is best known for his commands in the American War of Independence

Robert Rogers (1731-1795), an American colonial frontiersman. Rogers served in the British army during both the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.

Esek Hopkins (1718-1802), the only Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy during the American Revolutionary War.

Benedict Arnold (1741-1801), an American military officer who served as a general during the American Revolutionary War, fighting for the American Continental Army before defecting to the British in 1780.

Several prints are complete with the signature of the printmaker “Dupin,” although it is not certain whether this refers to Jean Victor Dupin (born 1718) or Nicolas Dupin (died after 1789) also referred to as Dupin II.

It would not be Pierre Dupin “the Elder” (ca.1690-ca.1751), father of Jean-Victor, as several online sources list. Nicolas is the better attribution but cannot be confirmed.


This is the only print in our collection with text engraved in the cartouche.

Who Drew These and Why?

The Graphic Arts Collection has a series of portraits all done in the same unidentified hand. Was this a class assignment to copy 19th-century black and white sources, and then add color? Or were these actually connected to the source?

Each portrait has an ink transcription on the back taken from the Illustrated London News obituary for these men: Justice Field; Sir Thomas Henry; M. Thiers, Fitzroy Kelley, Sergeant Parry, Alexander J.E. Cockburn, G.H. Lewes-Litera, and F.P.G. Guizot. Neither the portrait nor the text are exact copies.

When you go back to the original portrait and put the two faces side-by-side, the amateur style of the watercolor becomes apparent but the numbering on many and elaborate caption seem to indicate a serious project.

Source Citation: “Death of the Lord Chief Justice.” Illustrated London News [London, England] 27 Nov. 1880: 522+. Illustrated London News. Web. 25 June 2019. URL:

Several of the wood engraved originals (but not all) are signed by Biscombe Gardner, a regular contributor to the Illustrated London News, portraiture a specialty.

William Biscombe Gardner (1847–1919) was a British painter and wood-engraver. Working in both watercolour and oils, he exhibited widely in London in the late 19th century at venues such as the Royal Academy and the Grosvenor Gallery.[1] From 1896 he lived at Thirlestane Court. He illustrated a number of books featuring the British landscape (see below), notably Kent, Canterbury, and The Peak Country. He also drew scenes from the Welsh Elan Valley in the 1890s, before it was flooded to form the Elan Valley Reservoirs, which appeared in two books by Grant Allen (see “illustrated Books” below). However, it was as a fine wood-engraver that he was mainly known, providing illustrations (sometimes large) for British magazines of the day such as The Pall Mall Gazette, The Illustrated London News, The English Illustrated Magazine and The Magazine of Art. He was a firm advocate of traditional wood-engraving considering it to be the most versatile in comparison to the more conventional methods of engraving and etching, or more recent methods including “process illustration”–DNB

Source Citation: “This Eminent French Statesman and Historian Died on Saturday Night, at His Rural Mansion of Val Richer, Ner Lisieux, in Normandy.” Illustrated London News [London, England] 19 Sept. 1874: 277+. Illustrated London News. Web. 25 June 2019. URL:

In the end, it is most likely a copy assignment or personal exercise. Why the watercolors stayed together and came to Princeton is still a mystery.

Campaigning 1814

The Graphic Arts Collection holds two copies of a rare broadside prepared for the 1814 gubernatorial campaign of Samuel Dexter (1761-1816): The Ship Union — 98, will meet the Enemy on the First Monday in April, with an American Crew, …not one fainting lubber among them. Peace, obtained by the thunder of our Cannon … not by base submission! ([Boston: Yankee-office, 1814]).

The two stanzas of verse beneath the woodcut were written to encourage people to vote against Governor Strong and for Dexter.

Arise! Ye Sons of Washington, your boarded bark to save,
Don’t give up your gallant Ship, to float on faction’s wave;
The Union, ninety-eight, will soon pour upon the foe
Quincy’s famous cannon balls, and lay the Rebels low;
Brave Dexter will command her and like the noble Perry,
In April next, will rout the foe, and then we’ll all be merry.

Then rally round the Polls, and drive out Caleb Strong,
Let Dexter once but rule us—our Union will be long;
No longer will our gallant ship avoid to meet the foe,
Our Union will range quickly up, and give the deadly blow,
Hoist up the Union Flag, my boys, upon the lofty mast.
And down the Rebel Rag will come, and all their hopes we blast.

When the United States Congress voted to join the War of 1812 on June 18, there were still many who opposed it, in particular Caleb Strong (1745-1819), Governor of Massachusetts. Eight days later, the Massachusetts House of Representatives condemned the war and voted against it 406 to 240. When the war continued into 1814, Strong’s position gained in popularity and instead of retiring, the 69-year-old Federalist ran for a second term.

“…Such was the political atmosphere in Massachusetts, for instance, that the Republicans put forth moderate Federalist Samuel Dexter as their gubernatorial candidate in 1814. Dexter was careful to say that although he shared mainstream Federalists’ sense of grievance, he differed with them as to “their indiscriminate opposition to the war, especially their convention project.” The 1814 election therefore represented a referendum on the proposed Hartford convention above and beyond the war itself, and Caleb Strong beat Dexter handily, drawing 55 percent of the vote.”–Matthew Mason, “Slavery and Politics in the Early American Republic” (Univ of North Carolina Press, 2009).

At the time of the election, Dexter was practicing law in Boston, having served in the Senate, as Secretary of War, and Secretary of the Treasury. His 1814 campaign centered on his support for the war–“Vigorous war till we have an honorable peace”–and accusations that Strong was a coward. This broadside promises his administration would have “not one fainting lubber among them.” The strategy was not successful.


Woman’s Independent Government Currency

This $10 bond in the Graphic Arts Collection comes with a Masonic label on the back. It is uncertain what the connection is although there was an interesting new church established in Chicago in 1868.

On August 26, 1868 The New York Times published an article entitled “The Kingdom of Woman. Another Astonishing Development of Spiritualism,” introducing the “headquarters of an extraordinary association of men and women, who deem their great mission to be the formation of a new empire, to be governed by females…”  —

Over the next few years, papers in Indianapolis and other cities around the country echoed the announced:

“Euphemia Regina, Masonic queen of wisdom’s sacred temple, proposes to establish a memorial church at Warehouse Point,” which “is intended to enable woman to make a free pulpit and rostrum for her to dispense the law and ordinances of religion and politics, forming a divine marriage of church and state, and inaugurating ’The New Wisdom Age,’ for the world’s redemption. “Euphemia Regina” is “Sophronia Billings Abbe, grand scribe and corresponding secretary.” — Indianapolis News, Indianapolis, Marion County, 3 September 1872

It seems doubtful the church announced in 1868 relates to the “United States Church” above. This article
“Spiritualism Not Divine: or a System of Demonry [sic], Imposture, and Infidelity Examined in The Light of Philosophy, History, Morality, and the Bible” by James S.H. Scott (1868), takes it even further. Here is a small section:

“The pecuniary obligation incurred by the Masonic Queen of Heaven in the business transaction with which we were favored, had been liquidated, so to speak, as our readers will remember, by the tender of certain cabalistic bills on the Wisdom Bank, each entitling the bearer to Forty dollars worth of good in the City of Light and Love. A facsimile of this supernatural medium of exchange also appeared in our columns in connection with the aforesaid description.

These bills, it should be remembered, were, strictly speaking, neither current nor negotiable; they were, according to their tenor, based upon real estate, and were to be retained by the holder as a charm against all evil, sufficiently long to enable the influence which attended them to pervade his being, and then an agent of Euphemia Abia would, if desired, redeem them in the ordinary currency of the realm. The chief of the Republican job office, owing to grossness and skeptical obtuseness of his spiritual organism, failed to be come susceptible to the developing inducements of these pecuniary charms, and, probably as are buke to his infidelity, Euphemia Abia also failed to perform her part of the contract, and her agent so long delayed his advent that the most sanguine began to doubt the reality of this supernatural existence.

We have now, however, to announce the fact that the Masonic Queen of Heaven has caused to be fulfilled, in part, the vaticinations of Lady Sophronia Kilbourne, an agent having actually redeemed a third portion of these heavenly promises to pay, to the more than intense delight and astonishment of those to whom they were made payable. It becomes, therefore, a pleasant duty to chronicle the birth of a new organ of intelligence, The Wisdom Age, the printing of which, by the Republican job establishment was attended by the afore-and-above mentioned unusual business incidents, and the issuing of which to the world was delayed by these little idiosyncratic maneuvers of Euphemia Abia, Masonic Queen of Heaven, under whose auspices The Wisdom Age has been inaugurated.


A Zebra with the Head of King George III

“Some of the first exotic animals to enter France and England in the early 1700s,” writes Geri Walton, “were the chimpanzee and the rhino. They would later be upstaged by the zebra, with one of the striped beasts arriving in England in 1762. It was a wedding gift from Sir Thomas Adams and given to Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who had married George III a few months earlier in 1761.”

The zebra became a shorthand for royal greed and stupidity, appearing in multiple satirical prints of the time.

Thanks to the generous donation of Bruce Willsie, ‘86, the Graphic Arts Collection now holds on deposit this 1768 broadside The Times, which was a sequel to the broadside The Times, or 1768. It does not appear to have any connection to William Hogarth’s The Times, from September 7, 1762, although the comparison would make an interesting article.

Here is a copy of plate one from the British Museum.

The Times, or 1768. British Museum 1868,0808.4412.

They note “Lettered with the title, captions, twenty-four lines of verse in four columns giving the explanation to a numerical key ‘Behold corruption openly profest … Sweet Liberty return, and lasting Peace.’ and ‘To the Memory of William Allen Barbarously Murderd in St. Georges Fields/ Publish’d June 8, 1768 as the act directs, price 6d’.”

Our new broadside features William Allen rising from the dead in the center of the print, while Lord Bute rides a zebra with the head of George III on the right.  The verses below are written in the form of a rebus, substituting controversial words for pictures. Dorothy George writes for the British Museum:

“A broadside satirising Lord Bute, blaming him for the murder of William Allen; with an etching showing a landscape with two columns inscribed with the names of politicians, between the columns at the top centre a medallion of Oliver Cromwell, the left side of the image shows good influences, including a seated figure of Britannia and the Earl Temple accompanied by the British Lion, above them Fama blowing a trumpet and holding a laurel wreath, on the right side, dedicated to the bad influences, Lord Bute riding a zebra which has the head of King George III, near the zebra various animals, in the centre of the image the ghost of Allen rising from a grave; with engraved title, inscriptions, speech-bubbles, and verses in form of a rebus. (n.p.: [1768])”

William Allen was an innocent spectator killed by soldiers of the Scots Guard during the riots in St George’s Fields on 10 May 1768. The anonymous artist of the two quickly produced etchings are taking Lord Temple’s side, blaming Lord Bute, and his close connection with King George III, for the murder.


Can you make out the sentences?




Ten Etchings by J.J. Tissot

James Tissot (1836-1902), The Thames, ca. 1876. Drypoint and etching, from the portfolio Ten Etchings. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process

James Tissot (1836-1902), On the Thames (or How Happy I Could Be with Either), ca. 1876. Oil on canvas. Hepworth Wakefield Art Gallery.

Thanks to the generous gift of William and Sally Rhoads, the Graphic Arts Collection is the new owner of Ten Etchings. First series (London (17 Grove End Road, St John’s Wood): J.J. Tissot, 1876). This rare portfolio of drypoints, 1876-1877, each with the artist’s red monogram stamp (L. 1545) on various laid papers, was published by James Tissot (1836-1902) in a total edition of 50 (of which 25 were for subscribers and 25 for sale).

Mr. Rhoads notes “The portfolio was purchased in the 1920s or 30s by my grandfather, Wm. S. Bertolet, M.D., and then owned for 50 years by my mother, Mary B. Rhoads, who was a long-time member of the Friends of the Princeton University Library. She would be delighted that they will reside in Firestone.”

In the early 1870s, James Tissot left Paris and settled in St. John’s Wood, outside London, at 17 Grove End Road (around the corner from Abbey Road and later, Abbey Road Studio). One day, he happened to meet Kathleen “Kate” Newton (née Kelly; 1854–1882), an unwed mother of two, who had also moved to St. John’s Wood where her married sister had a home. Tissot and Newton met, fell in love, and for the next six years, lived together, unmarried, in what the artist called “domestic bliss,” until Newton died of tuberculosis in 1882.

During this period, most of Tissot’s paintings and prints feature Newton, her children, and their quiet family life. Some scenes included Kate’s sister but the views of two young women unsupervised with an adult man scandalizing the London public.

Between 1876 and 1877, Tissot assembled and published a selection of prints in a portfolio titled simply Ten Etchings. Six of these prints, including The Thames at the top of this post, were reproductions of his paintings and two are based on drawings he made while part of the Paris Commune in 1871. The other two are unidentified portraits.
These figures are thought to represent Tissot and Newton.


Portrait 1876 James Tissot 1836-1902 Purchased 1927

Tuppenny Rhymes

Attributed to Arthur James Hervey Wyatt (1861-1938), Tuppenny Rhymes. Illustrated manuscript dedicated to Raymond Benedict Hervey Wyatt “on his [16th] birthday 15th Decr. 1906.” 38 illustrated pages. Graphic Arts Collection GAX 2019- in process


The Graphic Arts Collection recently acquired this wonderful illustrated manuscript written for the teenager Raymond Benedict Hervey Wyatt (1890-1977) by one of his parents, likely his father, the engineer Arthur James Hervey Wyatt.

Educated at Bedford Grammar School, Wyatt Sr. went on to become an expert in sighting devices for heavy guns working for over twenty years for Morris Aiming Tube and Ammunition Company, Ltd. During the War, he joined the Ministry of Munitions and became assistant inspector for the East Midlands Area, with headquarters at Bedford.


This comic and affectionate gift to his son interposes humorous verse with nine full page and four half page illustrated comic advertisements for faux companies.

These include “Bovrox. The strongest thing on earth. Prepared only in our Chicago factory from the oldest and most delicate cows. In fragile bottles 2/6”; “Petrach’s Cheese Chocolate. Delicious! Scrumptious! Made from pure chocolate and ripe old Stilton cheese”; “Boko for the nose. Ensures a luxurious nasal organ.”

Of the nine manuscript poems, the second, Raymond’s Life. After W. S. Gilbert, follows the path of Raymond’s life from his ambitions to be an engine driver, his education as a Bedford Scholar, his love of cricket, and his ambition for various careers.

It ends: “With engineering, law and Greek / And many another rum thing, / With half the world’s pursuit’s to seek/ Let’s hope he sticks to something./ Mid agriculture, bank or school- / The crowded court – museum cook, / The bar – the bench / Or chemic stench/ Let’s hope he sticks to something.”

In real life, Raymond went on to be a successful pathologist and coroner, working at Bedford County Hospital in 1926 and the Coroner for the South-Western Division in London. In 1941, Wyatt carried out the inquests into the deaths of Karl Drucke and Werner Walti who were executed as spies by Alfred Pierrepoint at Wandsworth Prison on August 6,1906.


The Great American Cock

In a letter dated March 2, 1831, J.J. Audubon (1785-1851) wrote to his engraver Robert Havell Jr., (1793-1878) requesting changes in the copper printing plates already completed at the Scottish engraving studio of W.H. Lizars (1788-1859). “I wish you to set about having the Plates reengraved I mean the Lettering as soon as possible and to employ such Engravers as well do Justice to the whole of it.”

The engraved title Great American Cock, usually plate no. 1 in the bound volumes of Audubon’s Birds of America, was to be removed and replaced by Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). In addition, he asked for changes in the legends of the first forty-four plates.

There is no explanation for the change in the name. Cock is the standard British term for a male bird, “especially domestic fowl.” However, Audubon’s legend is not part of the Linnaean taxonomy of birds but instead an enthusiastic description for his favorite bird. This may have been his attempt to improve the scientific precision of the work as a whole.

In the early 1800s when the Audubon family lived in Mill Grove, Pennsylvania, the house was filled with animals, both preserved specimens and live family pets. Most prized with a wild turkey, referred to in Audubon letters as “my favorite turkey cock.”

“Lucy [Audubon] become accustomed to, and even contented with, the strange ways of John James, who brought home a number of wild creatures from his excursions into the woods. She helped raise and care for the wild turkey that John James captured when it was only a few days old. The bird rapidly became a great pet to the Audubon children and the entire village. Anxious to protect the turkey from hunters, Lucy tied a red string around his neck so that he would be recognized while wandering about town. Each evening the gobbler could be seen roosting on the roof of the Audubon cabin.”– Carolyn E. DeLatte, Lucy Audubon: A Biography (LSU Press, Sep 1, 2008).

There is no way of knowing how many plates were produced with the title Great American Cock as Lizars began engraving them in 1826 before Havell reengraved the plate according to Audubon’s demand in 1831. The copper printing plate for the Wild Turkey was purchased from Lucy Audubon by William E. Dodge Jr. (1832-1903) and kept in the Dodge family, first with his sister Grace H. Dodge (1856-1914) and then her nephew Cleveland E. Dodge (1888-1982), Princeton class of 1909, who lent it to the Princeton University Library exhibition in 1959. Dodge served as a trustee of the American Museum of Natural History, among other organizations, and ultimately donated the copper plate to AMNH for their Audubon room. Unfortunately, the engraved title at the bottom of the plate has been removed.


François Bonneville’s Portraits of Revolutionaries

“…In addition to the editors, François Bonneville (Nicolas’ cousin) was hired to engrave portraits of revolutionaries for the “Chronique du mois.” Each issue featured on its frontispiece one of Bonneville’s portraits, usually depicting a leading Girondin. The first seven issues included portraits of Condorcet (January), Fauchet (February), Mercier (March), Auger (April), Garran-Coulon (May), Paine (June), and Brissot (July).

François Bonneville became one of the best known portrait engravers of his day, and his works were sold individually at the Imrprimerie du Cercle Social. At the same time, his engravings helped to spread the fame of the Griondin leaders, whom he often portrayed in a neoclassical style that emphasized their likeness to the ancient heroes of Greek democracy.” –Gary Kates, The Cercle Social, the Girondins, and the French Revolution (Princeton University Press, 1985, jstor: 2014)

La Chronique du mois: ou, les cahiers patriotiques, [The Chronicle of the Month] was founded by Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat Condorcet (marquis de), Étienne Clavière, Jean-Antoine-Nicolas de Caritat marquis de Condorcet, Louis-Sébastien Mercier, Nicolas de Bonneville, abbé Athanase Auger, and John Oswald. They called their imprint the Printing Press of the Social Circle. Working together with these men from his studio on Rue Saint-Jacques, François Bonneville designed, engraved, and published the portraits with each man wearing his official uniform, including a hat with enormous plumes and a velvet coat.

The Graphic Arts Collection has only two of the portraits, seen here. To appreciate the entire grand costume, see Bonneville’s full figure image from the Musée Carnavalet:

François Bonneville (active 1793-1802), Merlin, membre du Directoire exécutif, 1797. Etching, pointillé, Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

François Bonneville (active 1793-1802), Em[m]anuel Joseph Sieyes, membre du Directoire Exécutif. Né à Fréjus le 3 may 1748, 1797. Etching, pointillé, Graphic Arts Collection 2019- in process

Read more M.E.T. Hamy, “Note sur diverses gravures de Bonneville, répresentant des Nègres (1794-1803) in Anthropologie (1900): 42-46.