“ A Menagerie of Gallows-Birds ”
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Idle ‘Prentice at Play in the Church Yard, during Divine Service. Tom Idle with shoeshine and two further guys on a coffin besides an open grave. Accordingly forcible the beadle reprimands them their wicked doings. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Design’d by Wm. Hogarth / Plate 3. / Engraved by T. Cook. / Published by T. Cook No. 11 Little Britain, & G. G. & J. Robinsons No. 25 Pater Noster Row, Octr. 1st. 1795. 11¼ × 14⅜ in (28.6 × 36.5 cm).
Industry & Idleness III. – Marvelous impression on buff paper. In its downright luxuriously wide white margin a few weak foxing spots and upper right slight tidemark. Beyond that – contrary to all later Hogarth editions – in the original size. – Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too” (Thieme-Becker).
“ This time at least I have seen in Hogarth what is not. I admit I was really at the point to regard a menagerie of gallows-birds as a convention of theophilantropists. The error was great, but is not without example; not even in natura ”
The master’s famous, most popular suite, showing by example of two apprentices in a weaving mill as one of the main branches of industry in his days the chances of their life as well as the temptations detrimental to their career :
Calculated for the use & Instruction of youth
w(h)erein every thing necessary to be known was to be made
as intelligible as possible
(Hogarth in his Autobiographical Notes).
“ The scenes should be as easily intelligible as possible for which the engravings had not to be worked in all fineness. It was rather important to keep costs low so that even apprentices could buy these sheets. Hogarth designed a frame-like border around each picture – supposedly he assumed that the boys would pin up these engravings directly at the wall. In this border below every scene he had added a characteristic verse from the Bible to the idle and (or) industrious apprentice … at top on the one hand a cat-o-’nine-tails, a pair of fetters, and a halter as emblems of the tragic end of the idle apprentice and on the other hand golden chain, sword and mace as hints to the career of the industrious one ”
(Bachofen-Moser, William Hogarth in the Art Gallery Zurich, 1983, p. 98).
Offer no. 7,530 / EUR 373. / export price EUR 354. (c. US$ 409.) + shipping
– – – The same in Hogarth’s own etching in an impression 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 , 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”]). Inscribed: Design’d & Engrav’d by Wm. Hogarth / Plate 3. / Publish’d according to Act of Parliament Sep.br 30. 1747. 10½ × 13¾ in (26.6 × 34.9 cm).
Illustration Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 55. – On wide-margined buff paper.
Offer no. 4,708 / EUR 61. (c. US$ 71.) + shipping
– – – The same in Cook’s smaller repetition, but without verse and marginal emblems and with the series title as caption. Inscribed: Pl. III. / Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, July 1. 1807. Subject size 5½ × 6¾ in (13.9 × 17.1 cm). – Trimmed within the wide white platemark.
Offer no. 8,882 / EUR 56. (c. US$ 65.) + shipping
– – – The same in engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, university engraver there). Inscribed: W. Hogarth inv & pinx. / Pl. 3. / Riepenhs. f. 8⅞ × 11 in (22.5 × 28 cm). – On slightly toned minor paper. – Riepenhausen’s engravings after Hogarth (“very estimable”, Nagler) belong to his chief work and are partly even preferred to Hogarth’s own engravings.
Offer no. 5,645 / EUR 76. (c. US$ 88.) + shipping
– – – The same in steel engraving about 1840. 5⅛ × 6¼ in (13 × 16 cm). – With title in German + English, but without verse and marginal emblems.
Offer no. 7,689 / EUR 43. (c. US$ 50.) + shipping
„ das ‚Haupt-Schwein‘ ist gut … angekommen und gefällt … falls sich weitere Funde … auftun, freue ich mich über Ihre Nachricht “
(Herr W. S., 29. August 2002)