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“ What  a  Strong  Bulwark
a  Coffin-Lid  is , isn’t  it ? ”

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Funeral Company. Bidding farewell to the deceased put on in the partly open coffin at home. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Pl. VI. / Designed by W. Hogarth. / Engraved by T. Cook. / London Published by G. G. & J. Robinson Paternoster Row October 1st. 1799. and series title. 14 × 16⅛ in (35.5 × 41.1 cm).

William Hogarth, Funeral Company (Harlot's Progress VI; Cook)

Harlots Progress VI. – Impression of very fine chiaroscuro on buff paper. – The light brown staining in the white upper margin still reaching into the picture’s background, but there practically imperceptible. – Beyond that – contrary to all later Hogarth editions – in his original size. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker). – The final sheet of the set on which

“ Hogarth  (has)  mainly  founded  the  great  fame  at  first ”

(Lichtenberg). And continuing on this sheet:

“ Here now she lies finally … quiet and patient in the coffin, secure of Sir John Gonson’s (the judge) satellites, Mister M. Thwackums lashes and – Dr. Misaubins pills. What a strong bulwark a coffin-lid is, isn’t it? ”

And just one among the fifteen present – the dead, living and a picture in the mirror – is concerned about the deceased:

“ … one of Hogarth’s beauties … Yet the girl is not completely bad. Youth and flush are there at least, and to these the lesson is directed which might be represented easiest by the words from the coffin :

‘ What  you  are , and  as  you , I  have  been  short  time  ago .
Leave  the  way  you  walk ; if  not  so  bear  in  mind :
What  I  am  by  now  you  will  be , too , in  a  short  time. ’

If this chick has heard these words cannot be concluded from the little face; but that, if she had heard them, the chick will have forgotten them even before the hearse arrives, that, so I think, can be concluded. ”

The original paintings of this set of six stations in the life of a prostitute from about 1730 were destroyed by fire already about 1755 by the way.

Offer no. 7,510 / EUR  240. (c. US$ 277.) + shipping

– – – The same in Hogarth’s own etching in the 3rd state of 1744. Inscribed: Plate 6. / † / Wm. Hogarth invt. Pinxt. et sculpt. 12⅝ × 15⅜ in (32 × 39 cm).

William Hogarth, Funeral Company (Harlot's Progress VI)

Nagler 17, 6; illustration Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 18 (this state). – Extremely wide-margined impression supposedly from the plate retouched by the royal engraver James Heath (1757 London 1834) about 1822 (“Even these impressions have become relatively rare today though”, Art Gallery Esslingen 1970; and Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., VIII [1888], 625: “A fine edition”, esteemed also already by contemporary collectors of the rank of for instance an A. T. Stewart [Catalog of the Stewart Collection, New York 1887, 1221, “fine plates”]).

Offer no. 8,810 / EUR  120. (c. US$ 139.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Funeral Company (Harlot's Progress VI; Rahl)

– – – The same in engraving by Carl Heinrich Rahl (Hoffenheim 1779 – Vienna 1843). (1818/23.) Inscribed: 12. / Plate 6. 8⅜ × 10⅝ in (21.2 × 27.1 cm).

Offer no. 7,636 / EUR  50. (c. US$ 58.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Funeral Company (Harlot's Progress VI; Riepenhausen)

– – – The same in engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, university engraver there). Inscribed: 12. / Plate 6. / W. Hogarth invt. pinxt. Riepenhausen d. sc. 7⅞ × 9¾ in (20 × 24.8 cm). – Impression on especially buff paper, supposedly from about 1850. – Riepenhausen’s engravings after Hogarth (“very estimable”, Nagler) belong to his chief work and not least for being in the original direction they are partly even preferred to Hogarth’s own engravings.

Offer no. 7,637 / EUR  50. (c. US$ 58.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Funeral Company (Harlot's Progress VI; lithograph)

– – – The same in lithography. (1833/36.) Inscribed: 18 / Der Weg einer Buhlerin. 6tes. Blatt. 7¾ × 8⅜ in (19.6 × 21.4 cm). – Extensive caption à la Lichtenberg in German.

Offer no. 7,638 / EUR  59. (c. US$ 68.) + shipping

complete copies of the set and further individual plates available


„ … sind die Dachse perfekt verpackt und verschnürt bei mir … angekommen. Schon das Auspacken des Bildes hat mir große Freude gemacht und der ‚Ridinger‘ gefällt mir sehr gut, da es eine realistische Stimmung am Bau wiederspiegelt … werde ihn unter meiner Dachsschwarte aufhängen … Ich nehme dies zum Anlaß auch weiterhin in ihrem Fundus zu suchen … Besonderen Dank auch für die Beilage der Dez. 08 Ausgabe von Wild & Hund mit dem gelungenen (Ridinger-)Artikel … Ihnen nochmals herzlichen Dank für ihre fabelhafte Arbeit … “

(Herr K. R., 19. Juni 2009)