This is a fabulous colored mezzotint engraving by William Ward (1766-1826) who is also a listed artist (see below for more information about William Ward). Below the engraving is the following: in the left bottom corner Painted G. Morland (1763-1804 who is also a listed artist) the title in the middle THE HARD BARGAIN. under the title is London Published Jan 1, 1803, by H. Macklin, Poets Gallery, Fleet Street on the right hand corner Engraved by W. Ward. Engraving measures 24 1/2" X 19 1/4".
The engraving is set in an exceptionally beautiful frame and is under glass. It is an eglomise gold gilt ripple frame that measures 30 7/8" X 25 3/4" X 1". Wonderful gilt with just a little missing gesso on the upper left corner and a little on the left side below that. The eglomise part of the frame (reverse painted) makes it appear to have a great matte with just a little craquelure in the upper right corner. There is a Framers label on the back of the frame that reads as follows: D. B. BUTLER & CO. ENGRAVINGS ETCHINGS AND Picture Frames 398 4TH AVE. BET. 27TH & 28TH STS. N.Y. M Emmet (Emmet is written in pencil) Order 54468 (54468 is also written in pencil).
William Ward is regarded as one of England's greatest mezzotint engravers of the early nineteenth century. As a student, he was apprenticed to John Raphael Smith and later assumed the position of his primary assistant. As an independent artist, Ward became renowned both for his portraits after contemporary painters and the genre scenes (such as this example) he engraved after the paintings of his brother-in-law, George Morland. William Ward was appointed "Mezzotint Engraver to the Duke of York" in 1803, and later, :Engraver to King William the Fourth". In 1814 he was elected an Associate Engraver of the Royal Academy. William Wards mezzotints are highly desired by many and this one is a superb piece of his works.
Item ID: A-637