Apologies for the lack of posts in recent weeks but at the moment all my efforts are being divided between a new job, an application for a PhD studentship and a forthcoming wedding. Blogging will therefore have to take a backseat for the next couple of weeks, as I try to wrestle my life back into some semblance of order.
In the meantime, I strongly recommend that you get yourself over to the Lewis Walpole Library blog and check out their newly acquired sets of original pen and ink wash caricatures by Charles Jameson Grant. They were part of a set of four unrelated satirical drawings by Grant which was sold at Bonham’s last major sale of caricatures in summer 2010. The hammer price at the time being a cool £4,320.
This untitled group of four comic vignettes featuring tiny caricatures with large and grotesquely expressive heads is probably the pick of the bunch. It draws heavily upon a set of similar prints that Isaac Cruikshank and G.M. Woodward produced for S.W. Fores during the late 1790s and early 1800s, most notably the 24 plate Pigmy Revels [sic] series, and provides some indication of Grant’s detailed knowledge of the work of earlier caricaturists.
The image on the top right, which shows a British soldier being shot by a sniper in some form of Asiatic dress above the punning caption: “A bulletin”, is interesting as it not only highlights the penchant for dark and violent imagery that Grant would put to such good use in the Political Drama series, but also indicates that stereotypical figures associated with Britain’s colonial wars were beginning to eclipse the French as the traditional bogeymen of British satire by the early 1830s.
“A disappointed dinnerhunter” is also worth noting simply because it is so funny. It depicts a foppish but penniless young gentlemen who is trying to inveigle his way into the house of an acquaintance. “Is your master within?” he asks the stony-faced butler:
“No Mr Smallfeast, he’s gone out to dinner”.
“Oh dear me – well your mistress will do just the same…”
“& She’s out sir”.
“… How provoking. Well, I’ll sit down by the fire until they come home”.
“I’m sorry to tell you that’s gone out to” [sic].