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This antique book titled Hunt's Comic Sketches contains 21 different prints of William Henry Hunt water colours masterfully drawn on stone by Thomas Fairland. Fairland was a noted lithographer with obvious talent. The individual works were exhibited in the mid to late 1830's by theSociety of Painters in Water Coloursof which Hunt was one of the most prolific contributors. Fairland created his lithographs from these and they were published in 1844. Interested parties please contact me for more pictures.
The Table of Contents lists each21 x 14.5 inchwork and the owner of the original water-colour from which it was drawn. The titles were altered a bit for the "comic" aspect of the book. Apparently, Hunt was involved in the renaming and enjoyed a good sense of humor. The "Crow" paintings got their new name due to the popularity of the Jim Crow black-face minstrel theatre that was touring at the time the book was being compiled.
There is ample information about the works of William Henry Hunt (1790 - 1864) and Thomas Fairland (1804 - 1852), however, there is not much available about many of the works selected for the book. I did learn that most, if not all, were originally painted with the use of models. These were mostly children. He was known to have used John Swain and others of his family who he brought with from his home town when he journeyed to London to pose for more than one of the collection.
The introduction or title page features Adam's Pale Ale, a work that sold at sale for $150 in 2013. I found three other works mentioned, Master James Crow (Massa Sambo), Miss Jim-Ima Crow (Miss Jemima Crow) and Astonishment, but could find no reference to their sale price. I did find a written record of London sale Sales from 1907 (Book-sale Records: A Priced and Annotated Annual Record of ..., Volumes 4-5)that indicated the book sold for the equivalent of over $1000.
Finding all 21 works of art with its original cover is certainly a rarity. Below is a list of each lithograph included. *Pictured
- *Adams Pale Ale, .......... A junior member of the temperance society
- The First Cigar, ... the Aspirant ... to fashion
- The First Cigar,... Used up
- *The Rival Artist,.... the natural genius
- The Rival Artist, ...........the mechanical genius
- A Poser,..... an Embryo, Chancellor of the Exchequer
- Too hot, ... A regular blowout
- *Master James Crow.... Out of his element
- *Miss Jemima Crow, ........... a West Indian Cinderella
- The Pet Pig,......... or Squeaking Affection
- Domestic Felicity ......... or the Modern Wittington
- A Young Shaver,... Giving himself (H)airs
- *Astonishment, ..... or a run in the milky way
- *The Corn Question, ....or the puzzled politician
- *All fours,........ candidates for Crockfords club
- *Master Isaak Walton,..... Eyeing a bite
- *How are you?....... a youth not easily done
- The Pet Lamb, ......... or Rustic affection
- *The Gleaner,....... or the village beauty
- *Cymon & Iphigenia ,............... or Love at first sight
- *Done up............ reader................go to bed
These are over 170 years old. Each page has some foxing or blemish in different degrees as shown in the pictures. Foxing on heavy lithograph paper such as this can be professionally cleaned. Most are in very good condition. Additional pictures and/or information can be provided upon request.
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