Item #05621 Country Characters. George Moutard WOODWARD, Thomas ROWLANDSON.
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters
Country Characters

Country Characters

London: R. Ackerman, 1821. Item #05621

A Remarkably Crisp Copy of Rowlandson's and Woodward's Satirical Illustrations
Depicting the Tradesmen of London

WOODWARD, George Moutard, ROWLANDSON, Thomas illustrators. Country Characters. London: Pubd.… by R. Akerman [sic], [1800? but 1821].

First edition, later issue with the plates watermarked 1821***

Quarto (11 x 8 5/8 inches; 280 x 220 mm.). Twelve numbered hand-colored etched plates by Thomas Rowlandson after George Moutard Woodward. The plates have the imprint “Pubd.…by R. Akerman No 101 Strand,” except for plate No. 1, which has the imprint “Pubd…by R Ackermann 101 Strand.” Small marginal chip (1/4 x 1/4 inch to lower blank edge of plate 9), otherwise a superb example of this very rare suite of plates. The plates are watermarked "J. Whatman / Turkey Mill / 1821"

Original drab wrappers laid onto modern paper, re-stitched. Front wrapper with original small rectangular yellow label printed in black. Housed in a brown buckram fold-over case.

A remarkably crisp copy of Rowlandson's and Woodward's satirical illustrations depicting tradesmen of London. The depictions range from a barber to the more obscure professionals such as an Exciseman. Each character depicted is accompanied by textual bubbles, satirizing their approach to their work. In a comically unprofessional manner the Doctor, in his diagnosis of a rather irritable looking gentleman, proclaims 'Your pulse is in a better state seven or eight more Draughts will settle you'.

***There are two copies located in libraries & institutions worldwide: Harvard (the Widener copy) & LSU. We sold the copy to LSU in 2008 and that copy also had the plates with the watermark dated 1821. Furthermore in conversation with Bill Gordon (the bibliographer of G.M. Woodward) his copy also has the plates with 1821 watermarks. Additionally a copy with the plates watermarked 1821 sold at Parke-Bernet, NY. in 1953. The Royal Collection at Windsor has a copy with a publication line on the plates of 30 August 1799 and 10 September 1799. It would therefore appear that the present copy and also two other copies cited above were printed without a publication/date line ca. 1821.

The plates are captioned:

1. “Publican;”
2. “Justice;”
3. “Barber;”
4. “Footman;”
5. “Tax Gatherer;”
6. “Squire;”
7. “Vicar;”
8. “Doctor;”
9. “Exciseman;”
10. “Steward;”
11. “Attorney;”
12. “London Outrider or Brother Saddlebag.”

George Moutard Woodward (1765-1809), “Caricaturist, son of William Woodward of Stanton Hall, Derbyshire, was born in that county about 1760. He received no artistic training, but, having much original talent, came to London, with an allowance from his father, and became a prolific and popular designer of social caricatures, much in the style of Bunbury, which were etched chiefly by Rowlandson and Isaac Cruikshank. Although their humour was generally of a very coarse and extravagant kind, they display a singular wealth of imagination and insight into character, and some are extremely entertaining. Among the best are ‘Effects of Flattery,’ ‘Effects of Hope,’ ‘Club of Quidnuncs,’ ‘Everybody in Town,’ ‘Everybody out of Town,’ and ‘Specimens of Domestic Phrensy.’ Woodward… was of dissipated and intemperate habits, spending much of his time in taverns, and died in a state of penury at the Brown Bear public-house in Bow Street, Covent Garden, in November 1809” (D.N.B).

"Very rare: Two copies located, at Harvard and LSU." William Gordon. British Caricature, 2013)
Note: We sold the copy to LSU in 2008 (DJB).

Bobins IV, 1357 (this copy); Gordon, BC-22; Grego II, pp. 13-14.

Price: $12,500.00