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Book Description

Original hand coloured etched caricature. 10 x 14 inches. 21 x 17 inches. A very fresh and brightly coloured example of this highly entertaining caricature, by Rowlandson at the height of his powers as satirist and social commentator. A fine example.
Dealer Notes
Thomas Rowlandson (1757 - 1827) is perhaps the most famous of the georgian caricaturists. His facility to produce highly entertaining and often bawdy satires on modes and manners of his day has made him world famous. This large, separately issued plate comes from his best period. Marked number 8 on the top of the plate informs us that it comes from the early years of a fruitful relationship with the publisher, Thomas Tegg. Their partnership was to last between 1807 and 1819 during which time although he produced many images, the ephemeral nature of them, designed to be funny on the day pinned up on the tavern wall and then discarded, accounts for the rarity of these large etchings.

The image depicts a companionable wench below decks on what is probably a man of war. The double entendre is that, in seamans parlance, ‘fitting out a smuggler’ would be to fit out a small craft for the profitable business of smuggling. The craft in this instance is the wench who is to go ashore from the man of war laden with the spoils of their voyages. A sailor attaches about her body a flask marked ‘otto or roses’ (perfume), a barrel of ‘coniac’ (sic) and large sacks of tea marked ‘Japan’ and ‘old china’ and numerous other parcels which our tar ties around her waist which is itself marked ‘gum elastic’. His pockets bulge with ‘segars’ (sic) and he is sitting on a box marked ‘congo’ and more flasks are at his feet, marked ‘arrack’. The sport is watched by another sailor with a mug in his hand and a clay pipe in his mouth. Behind him hangs a fiddle and above their heads another sailor lies in his hammock, from which tumbles the ladies copious dress which is to conceal the contraband. A splendid and deliciously bawdy caricature by the master of the art.
Author ROWLANDSON, THOMAS.
Date 1808
Publisher Tegg. No 111 Cheapside,
Illustrator Thomas Rowlandson
Condition A fine example

Price: £550.00

Offered by Marrin's Bookshop

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