Antiquarian Auctions

Auction #72 begins on
24 Jan 2019 16:30 GMT

Gillray, James


Published: London, C1820

Reserve: $900


Estimate: $1000 / 1500

Bidding opens: 24 Jan 16:30 GMT

Bidding closes: 31 Jan 16:30 GMT

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Ex-Libris, Large Folio, Hardcover, bound three-quarter brown leather with marbled-paper sides, unnumbered pages, edges gilt, five raised bands on the spine.

Head/heel and corners are bumped and rubbed due to general shelf-ware, spine slightly faded, small tears along the edges.

The book contains 45 large engravings by James Gillray, there is a newspaper clipping inserted in the front (Cartoonist who made all the prints unfit for news), also inserted at the rear is a large engraved print, edges torn (C1820).

Front board and front end-paper is loose, marbled front/back pastedowns/endpapers, offsetting on the front/back endpapers, a substantial amount of foxing can be seen throughout, Overall, the book and the binding are in fair condition.

James Gillray (13 August 1756 or 1757 – 1 June 1815) was a British caricaturist and printmaker famous for his etched political and social satires, mainly published between 1792 and 1810.

Gillray has been called "the father of the political cartoon", with his works satirizing George III, prime ministers and generals and was regarded as being one of the two most influential cartoonists, the other being William Hogarth, Gillray's wit and humour, knowledge of life, fertility of resource, keen sense of the ludicrous, and beauty of execution, at once gave him the first place among caricaturists.

The name of Gillray's publisher and print seller, Hannah Humphrey, whose shop was first at 227 Strand, then at No 37 New Bond Street, then in Old Bond Street, and finally at No 27 St James's Street, is inextricably associated with that of the caricaturist himself. Gillray lived with Miss Humphrey during the entire period of his fame and it is believed that he several times thought of marrying her, and that on one occasion the pair were on their way to the church, when Gillray said: "This is a foolish affair, methinks, Miss Humphrey. We live very comfortably together; we had better let well alone." One of Gillray's prints, "Twopenny Whist," is a depiction of four individuals playing cards, and the character shown second from the left, an ageing lady with eyeglasses and a bonnet, is widely believed to be an accurate depiction of Miss Humphrey.

Gillray's plates were exposed in Humphrey's shop window, where eager crowds examined them. In the shop window a number of Gillray's previously published prints, such as Tiddy-Doll the Great French Gingerbread Maker, Drawing Out a New Batch of Kings; His Man, Talley Mixing up the Dough, a satire on Napoleon's king-making proclivities, are shown in the shop window and one of his later prints, Very Slippy-Weather, shows Miss Humphrey's shop in St.

James's Street in the background.Gillray's eyesight began to fail in 1806. He began wearing spectacles but they were unsatisfactory. Unable to work to his previous high standards, James Gillray became depressed, started drinking heavily, and as a result of that suffered from gout throughout his later life.

His last work, from a design by Bunbury, is entitled Interior of a Barber's Shop in Assize Time, and is dated 1811. While he was engaged on it he became mad, although he had occasional intervals of sanity, which he employed on his last work.

The approach of madness may have been hastened by his intemperate habits. In July 1811 Gillray attempted to kill himself by throwing himself out of an attic window above Humphrey's shop in St James's Street.

Gillray lapsed into insanity and was looked after by Hannah Humphrey until his death on 1 June 1815 in London; he was buried in St James's churchyard, Piccadilly.

  • Binding Condition: Fair
  • Overall Condition: Fair
  • Size: 655 x 515 mm

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