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1786


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

The Contemplative Charmer

London. Printed for Robert Sayer, Map & Printseller, No. 53 Fleet Street, as the Act directs 1st July 1786

A young woman seated with her legs crossed in a gown with pleated hem and a large pleated hat, directed right, looks left, thoughtful with a smile. In her right hand is a small volume, inscribed "Hervey's Meditations." Her left hand is screened by her leg. She is seated in a garden on a bench with slats forming a pattern on the back. The bench leg under her is decorated with a heart. The verse cautions against the sensuality evoked by reading:

Such are the Charms that flush the Cheek,
And sparkle in the Eye,//
So from the lovely finish'd form,
The transcient Graces fly.

The book is James Hervey's Meditations Among the Tombs(1746), the Methodist treatise. In an earlier impression by Sayer and Bennett, "1st July 1780," the book the woman holds is "Ovids Arts of Love." Despite the shared title, the image, verse, and publisher differ from The Contemplative Charmer (BMC 5815).

Reproduced: D'Oench (1999), p. 55

35.5 x 25.5 cm.
Yale Center for British Art (B1970.3.763), Lewis Walpole Library (dated "4 Augt 1786," 786.8.4.1)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Library of Congress

 

A Droll Thought of Tom the Schoolboy or Two Heads better than one

70
London, Printed for Robert Sayer, No. 53 Fleet Street as the Act directs 15 July 1786

In this school room scene, a boy who has been lifted or horsed on the back of another and had his breeches lowered for a whipping is discovered to have had a face drawn across his buttocks--eyes and eybrows, nose and smiling lips--ready apparently for this contingency. The schoolmaster drops his birch bundle in surprise and, laughing, looks away at two other boys to the left both holding open small books. The one sniggers behind his raised hand, the other points at the moon-faced drawing. At the far left another boy sits at his desk. High on the wall is a shelf with books and pen and below it the drawing of a horse.

This is a reissue by Sayer of an earlier impression of A Droll Thought, Sayer and Bennett, dated 15 July 1774. The image resembles The Humorous Thought of a School Boy, (BM 4535) published by Carington Bowles; an impression at Colonial Williamsburg dates the Bowles print to "24 May 1774." Differences include the position of the schoolmaster, boys seated at their desks rather than standing, and a small dog.

35.5 x 25.1 cm.
Library of Congress (PC3+1786)

A miniature at the Lewis Walpole Library, also by Sayer, is dated "20 Sept 1787." This reduced image deletes the third boy seated at his desk and replaces the drawing of a horse with a map.
14 x 11.1 cm.
Lewis Walpole Library (787.9.10.1)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

THE TOILET

184
London, Printed for Robert Sayer, Map and Printseller, No. 53 Fleet Street, as the Act directs 24 July 1786

A lady in a housedress sits in profile, knees crossed, gazing at her reflection in the dressing table mirror. Her left hand is on her knee, the other adjusting an earring. The verse records her narcissism:

With winning coyness she my Soul disarms,
Her face darts forth a thousand rays,//
My eyeballs swim & I grow giddy as I gaze.

33.3 x 25 cm.
Lewis Walpole Library (colour, 786.7.24.1)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Library of Congress

TOM JONES MOLLY SEAGRIM and SQUARE

201
Pubd as the Act directs 1st August 1786, by Robert Sayer, Map & Printseller No 53 Fleet Street London

The print portrays the scene from Henry Fielding's Tom Jones in which Tom learns that Molly Seagrim, who he thinks is pregnant by him, has also been sleeping with his tutor, Mr. Square. Here Tom has surprised Molly in her bedchamber and sits beside her on the bed. She wears a dress and housecap but from the waist up she is covered only a shawl. The bodice she has removed lies on the floor partially covered by a gentleman's round flat hat. She speaks to Tom earnestly, accusing him of being disloyal to her. Tom has his arm around Molly, but the other hand is raised as if surprised. He seems to be looking past Molly as the curtain or cloth screen falls away to reveal Square, stooped and hiding in the corner dressed only in a shirt. The subtext reads: "See the 1st Vo. of Tom Jones the V. Chap the i (erased)."

35.5 x 25.3 cm.
Library of Congress (PC3+1786)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

MARGARET NICHOLSON attempting to Assassinate His Majesty KING GEORGE III at the Garden Entrance of St. James Palace 2nd August 1786

Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles, No. 69 St. Pauls Church Yark, London.

Margaret Nicholson had approached the King with a petition which he has in his left hand. In her left hand she holds the knife with which she tried to stab him. One of the palace guards has seized her right hand and another gentleman grasps her left arm. The King is reputed to have exclaimed, "Don't harm the poor woman; she must be mad." Following an inquiry, she was committed to Bedlam. The scene is at the palace gate and the King appears to have been approached by Margaret Nicholson as he climbed down from his carriage which stands with door open to the left. The image is from a watercolour by Robert Dighton. Another Dighton watercolour portrays the scene just a moment before as the King reaches out to fend off the blow. The print reportedly appeared three days after the incident.

The title is printed in both English and French to be marketed on the continent as well as Britain. Dorothy George dates this print to August 1786.

32.5 x 25.5 cm.
Lewis Walpole Library (786.8.0.3)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

MUSICAL CHARMER

170
London, Printed for R. Sayer, Printseller, No. 53 Fleet Street as the Act directs 1 Sept 1786

A young woman sits on a sofa, covered in striped cloth, playing a mandolin and singing, her music beside her. The room is richly furnished with patterned carpet, drapery, and oval mirror with gilded frame. The posture size from which this is reduced had been published by Sayer and Bennett, "December 1st 1780," titled The Musical Charmer and including the verse:

I'll twine fresh Garlands for my Lovers brows,
And consecrate to him eternal Vows,//
The Charming Youth shall my Apollo prove,
And shall adorn my Song & tune my Voice to Love.

13.9 x 11.2 cm.
Lewis Walpole Library (786.9.1.14)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University

The Boarding-School Hair-Dresser

144
London, Printed for Robert Sayer No. 53 Fleet Street, as the Act directs 24 Sept 1786

A handsome young hair dresser appears intent on arranging a girl's hair who sits with a slight smile and her hands in her lap. Her knees apart, he stands with left leg between her thighs, astraddle her right leg. Her cloak and hat hangs on a peg to the left and a mandolin and open music book lie on a low table, suggesting another turn this visit may take. Scissors and other hairdressing implements litter the floor.

14 x 11.1 cm.
Lewis Walpole Library (786.9.24.1)


Courtesy of the Print Collection, Yale Center for British Art, Yale University

DAMON and PASTORA

169
London. Printed for Robert Sayer, Map & Printseller, No. 53 Fleet Street, as the Act directs Oct 28th 1786

Pastora is a fashionably dressed young gentlewoman who reclines on a streambank. The gentleman approaching beyond the tree behind her clutches his hands together tightly as if he has captured a bird. If the attached verse illuminates the scene, it may be an allusion to the bird-in-the-hand aim of his proposal.

Alone by the side of a murmuring rill,
That lav'd the gay foot of a primrose hill;
Pastora beneath a broad Poplar was laid,//
When Damon in extasy enter'd the shade,
He sigh'd & he swore by the pow'rs overhead,
If she'd bless him to day, to morrow he'd wed.

The subtext reads "Written by Mr. Nicholl."

32.7 x 25 cm.
Yale Center for British Art (B1970.3.807)


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