A Fun-Filled Frieze by the Pioneer of the Strip Cartoon[WOODWARD, George Moutard]. [ROWLANDSON, Thomas]. [A Caricature Frieze]. [London: Rudolph Ackermann, 1799] and [London: S.W. Fores, November 9th, 1800- February 6th, 1801]. First edition. Oblong folio (5 x 20 1/4 inches; 126 x 511 mm.). A set of eighteen hand-colored etched caricatures (3 3/4 x 18 inches; 95 x 457 mm.), and one shorter strip (3 13/16 x 9 7/16 inches; 97 x 240 mm.), laid down on both sides of card mounts, the mounts joined as a succession of album pages. Panorama style in a blue cloth chemise with black morocco lettering label "Caricatures by Woodward / Ackermann / 1799" on front panel, housed in a blue cloth slipcase with similar black morocco label.This fine collection of Woodward caricatures contains five plates (of seventy-two) from Grotesque Borders for Rooms and Halls. (London: Rudolph Ackermann, March 28th, 1799 - December 1st, 1800) and fourteen (of twenty-four) plates from Pigmy Revels (London: S.W. Fores, November 9th, 1800 - February 6th, 1801).A fun-filled frieze by the pioneer of the strip cartoon. For Woodward's contemporaries, 'much of the attraction of his work lay in the captions, which relied heavily on wordplay and were sometimes couched in doggerel verse. He tended to choose his subjects from the middle and lower classes rather than high society' (Simon Heneage in ODNB). In the second 'strip' (Grotesque Borders?) the wordplay is based on quotations from William Shakespeare."These figures, mostly with enlarged heads, were designed by Woodward, and etched by Rowlandson, for Ackermann. The strips were apparently intended to be cut apart and used as border designs on walls or screens." (William Gordon, British Caricature, p. 20).Yale University (Lewis Walpole Library) has just one 'vertical' print with three strips from Grotesque Borders?In over fifty years of dealing in rare books I have handled three copies of Pigmy Revels but I have never had any of the plates from Grotesque Borders (DJB).George Moutard Woodward (1760?-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)."Woodward?might have rivalled Hogarth. Certainly his collaboration with Rowlandson constituted a lively, if frivolous, commentary on the social scene. Dorothy George described him as 'original, prolific, varied, humorous and good-humoured,' and few students of the subject would dispute her conclusion that his death was 'a loss to caricature' (George, English Political Caricature, 1.174)" (Simon Heneage, 'Woodward, George Murgatroyd [1760?-1809)] Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004).Grotesque Borders for Rooms and Halls. London: Rudolph Ackermann, 1799. (Gordon, BC-33 & BC-34). Pigmy Revels. London: S.W. Fores, November 9th, 1800- February 6th, 1801. (Gordon, BC-62, BC-99 & BC-100).Abbey, Life, 462 (Pigmy Revels); Grotesque Borders? not in Abbey. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: [A Caricature Frieze]
Publisher: London: Rudolph Ackermann, 1799
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