The Embarkation of the Pressed Sluggard
Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Idle ‘Prentice turn’d away and sent to Sea. Accompanied by his weeping mother Tom Idle who lost his apprenticeship is rowed to a men-of-war lying at anchor. While one of the sailors leisurely rows to his pipe, the two other Jack tars show Tom the usual means of those days to keep order among the crews pressed in all dives: the cat-o’-nine-tails and the just occupied gallows at the opposite bank. Thus rope’s end, knout, and fetters in the left image lining, contrasting scepter, sword, and golden chain on the right. Engraving by Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: Designed by Wm. Hogarth / Plate 5. / Engraved by T. Cook / Published by T. Cook; Islington; and G. G. & J. Robinsons, Paternoster Row. December 1st. 1795. 11⅞ × 14⅜ in (30.1 × 36.4 cm).
Industry & Idleness V. – Marvelously contrast-rich 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).
“ The master has torn the indenture and thrown into the water and supposedly delivered him with his belongings to the boat that shall drive him onto a ship. The poor mother escorts him. ‘But now I will do it with a vengeance’! he curses at her! ‘Then you will end there’! says Jack and points at the gallows with the fieldfare. ‘And if you only feel the cat!’ remarks Tar, showing the ship’s whip with the nine little tails … ”
(caption of a lithograph).
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. 7,531 / EUR 176. (c. US$ 214.) + 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 5. / Publish’d according to Act of Parliamt. Sep. 30. 1747. 10½ × 13¾ in (26.8 × 35 cm).
Illustration Hogarth Catalogue Zurich, 1983, 57. – On wide-margined buff paper.
Offer no. 7,690 / EUR 87. (c. US$ 106.) + shipping
– – – The same in Cook’s smaller repetition, but without verse and marginal emblems and with the series title as caption. Inscribed: Pl. V. / Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Sepr. 1st. 1807. Subject size 5¼ × 6⅜ in (13.2 × 16.2 cm). – Trimmed within the wide white platemark.
Offer no. 8,883 / EUR 42. (c. US$ 51.) + shipping
– – – The same in engraving by Ernst Ludwig Riepenhausen (1765 Göttingen 1840, university engraver there). Inscribed: 31. / W. Hogarth inv. & pinx. / Pl. 5. / Riepenhausen del & s. 8⅞ × 11 in (22.5 × 27.9 cm). – Early impression. – Riepenhausen’s engravings after Hogarth (“very estimable”, Nagler) belong to his chief work and are partly even preferred to Hogarth’s own engravings. – Illustration
Offer no. 7,691 / EUR 71. (c. US$ 86.) + shipping
– – – The same by Riepenhausen as before, but on slightly toned minor paper and a bit dull.
Offer no. 12,149 / EUR 61. (c. US$ 74.) + shipping
– – – The same by Riepenhausen as before, but on especially buff paper, supposedly about 1850. – Very fine impression.
Offer no. 12,142 / EUR 81. (c. US$ 99.) + shipping
– – – The same in lithography by C. C. Böhme. (1833/36.) Inscribed: 23 / C. C. Böhme lith. 8½ × 10⅛ in (21.5 × 25.6 cm). – Title – Faulhans geht auf die See – and extensive caption à la Lichtenberg in German.
Offer no. 7,692 / EUR 61. (c. US$ 74.) + shipping
– – – The same in steel engraving about 1840. 5⅛ × 6⅜ in (13 × 16.2 cm). – With title in German + English, but without verse and marginal emblems.
Offer no. 7,693 / EUR 29. (c. US$ 35.) + shipping
“ I am curious as to the history of this (original Ridinger printing) plate (I just bought) and the others you have offered. Did you purchase them from the Ridinger estate (indirectly, indeed) or a private collector? These are truly rare one of a kind pieces ”
(Mr. L. A. F., October 28, 2003)