Georgian Colored Engraving PAIR Courtship Matrimony English Circa 1790's
These are a wonderful pair of miniature George III period hand colored engravings or 'cottage prints' as they were called at that time. If you love genuine Georgian antiques, these are sure to appeal.
These 18th century satirical engravings examines courtship and matrimony in a tongue and cheek way. In the Courtship example we see a keen gent helping his loved one over the stile. Their two pet dogs chasing each other in playfulness. The second Matrimony engraving shows the same couple when they are married. This time the now husband has gone on before over the stile, completely ignoring his wife who is left struggling over the stile. Even their pet dogs are scrapping!!
These original hand colored engravings were produced on lovely laid paper (see the chain stripes in the paper make up). As the Courtship engraving tells us they were "sold under the Gateway St Bartholomew's Hospital". St Bartholomew's Hospital is in the Smithfield area of London and is THE oldest hospital in Europe dating back to the 11th century. The frames are lovely and original pine examples. Their original paint has dulled and dried to give a superb patina and dry feel. They each retain their original old bubbled glass. Below Courtship is a written verse
" In Courtship, Strephen careful hands his Lass, Over a style, a child with ease might pass."
Through research we have found that there was a publisher and book seller called John Major with a small shop under the gateway of St Bartholomew's Hospital. We also discovered a very similar pair of Courtship and Matrimony engravings that were produced in 1792 by C Sheppard No. 15 St Peters Hill, Doctors Commons, London in 1792. The verse that sometimes accompanied Matrimony
"But Wedded Strephen now neglects his Dame. Tumble or not, to him 'til all the same"
PLEASE NOTE that our examples are a pair but Matrimony's matching frame is a little bigger in size.
Courtship measures 6 7/8" by 4 7/8". The engraving had been trimmed to fit the frame.
Matrimony measures 7 1/8" by 5 1/8", again the engraving was trimmed to fit the frame.
Condition - Is very good for their 200 years plus but as one would expect some minor issues. The Courtship engraving has a hole in the paper bottom right corner and two ancient woodworm holes on the lady ( hard to see). The backing board has been replaced on this engraving probably due to woodworm!! The paper on both engravings has darkened with age ( this was prior to bleaching agents being used in paper production). Matrimony - there is a fox mark on the lady's dress side. Complete with original top metal suspension loops this superb pair are ready to hang.
A wonderful discovery for the folk art, naive or Federal period collector.
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