Navigation 2017 with view cart

Genuine, original William Hogarth engravings and etchings from Darvill's Rare Prints

William Hogarth and his pug

Scholars at a Lecture

Issued as one of Hogarth's Four Groups of Heads, this crudely executed work depicts the effects that a tedious academic professor (believed to be William Fisher, Registrar of Oxford) has upon his audience. From his isolating perch, a mechanical pedant, his eyes glued to his lecture, "Datur Vacuum" (A vacuum/leisure is granted), reads at his audience. Around him stand his students, who exhibit a variety of responses to the lecture in their caricatured faces; vacuity, indifference, boredom, scorn, amazement, skepticisim, incredulity, drowsiness—every imagineable reaction but real interest.

The Company of Undertakers

As the contrived heraldic rhetoric of this print's caption makes clear, it is a satirical representation of a coat-of-arms for the medical profession. The theme of the escutcheon is not recovery but death. The print is bordered in black like a mourning card; it has ominous crossbones in the bottom corners; and its motto "Et Plurima Mortis Imago" (And many an image of death).

The upper portion of the shield (the field "ermine" above the "nebulous" dividing line) shows three doctors, each with some obvious physical disorder. The center figure ("One Compleat Doctor") with the grim, thick-featured face wearing a clown's suit and a felt hat over a nightcap is cross-eyed. This masculine figure, said to represent Sarah Mapp, a well-known bone-setter of the time, points inarticulately to the human bone she is carrying as a cane. To the right stands a smiling, almost feminine-faced physician. He is supposed to portray Joshua Ward ("Spot Ward"), a doctor with a blood-colored birthmark on one side of his face—thus the shading. To the left stands a well-dressed oculist (his cane identifies his specialty) who has himself only one open eye, which stares erratically upward; he seems to wink ingratiatingly with the other. This figure is believed to represent John Taylor, a charlatan oculist.

Below these figures twelve more quacks huddle together. Nine smell the heads of their canes, which in the eighteenth century, contained disinfectant. Two stare into a urinal to determine the color of the contents. A third dips his finger into the urine itself to taste it. All wear sour, disaffected expressions.

[Excerpts from Engravings by Hogarth, edited by Sean Shesgreen (Dover, 1973).]

 

Scholars at a Lecture, The Company of Undertakers

(click image for enlargement)

Scholars at a Lecture
and
The Company of Undertakers


Original 195-year-old Copperplate Engravings/Etchings from:
The Works of William Hogarth from the Original Plates Restored by James Heath, Esq., R.A.; With the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected: To Which is Prefixed, a Biographical Essay on the Genius and Productions of Hogarth, and Explanations on the Subjects of the Plates by John Nichols, Esq., F.S.A.

London. Printed for Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, Paternoster Row
by Nichols and Son, Parliament Street
— 1822 —

Sheet size: approximately 25¼ x 19¼ inches, thick woven paper.
(approx. 64cm x 48cm)
Image sizes to plate impression:
Scholars at a Lecture: 7.25x8.75 inches to plate impression
The Company of Undertakers: 7x10.25 inches to plate impression (which is at image edge on sides and top)

Condition: Very good to Excellent
Some foxing in margins and a damp stain in upper right corner (would be covered when mounted/matted for framing)
A very nice, deep, dark impression



$325

 


 

 

Scholars at a Lecture, The Company of Undertakers

(click image for enlargement)

Scholars at a Lecture
and
The Company of Undertakers


Original 195-year-old Copperplate Engravings/Etchings from:
The Works of William Hogarth from the Original Plates Restored by James Heath, Esq., R.A.; With the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected: To Which is Prefixed, a Biographical Essay on the Genius and Productions of Hogarth, and Explanations on the Subjects of the Plates by John Nichols, Esq., F.S.A.

London. Printed for Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, Paternoster Row
by Nichols and Son, Parliament Street
— 1822 —

Sheet size: approximately 25¼ x 19¼ inches, thick woven paper.
(approx. 64cm x 48cm)
Image sizes to plate impression:
Scholars at a Lecture: 7.25x8.75 inches to plate impression
The Company of Undertakers: 7x10.25 inches to plate impression (which is at image edge on sides and top)

Condition: Excellent, one scuff in right side margin – well away from image area.
A few very light fox marks in upper margin at top of sheet.
A very nice, dark impression.

To Ms. S.H.


 

 

The Lecture DATUR VACUUM
(click image to enlarge)

The Lecture
DATUR VACUUM


"The Works of William Hogarth
in a Series of Engravings: with descriptions and a
Comment on Their Moral Tendency
by the Rev. John Trusler"

(Jones and Co., Temple of the Muses, (Late Lackington's), Finsbury Square, London, 1833)

Original 180+-year-old copperplate engraving

Sheet size: 8 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches
original text accompanies engraving


Condition: Fair, some foxing. Please refer to detailed scan by clicking on thumbnail image provided.

$15

 

 

Consultation of Physicians The Undertakers Arms.
(click image to enlarge)

Consultation of Physicians
The Undertakers' Arms


"The Works of William Hogarth
in a Series of Engravings: with descriptions and a
Comment on Their Moral Tendency
by the Rev. John Trusler"

(Jones and Co., Temple of the Muses, (Late Lackington's), Finsbury Square, London, 1833)

Original 180+-year-old copperplate engraving

Sheet size: 8 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches
original text accompanies engraving


Condition: Fair, some foxing. Please refer to detailed scan by clicking on thumbnail image provided.

$15

Return to Hogarth Home

Return to Humor and Satire Page