[Eleven erotic mezzotints.]
[British, n.d., c.1790.]
Scarce set of eleven privately-issued pornographic mezzotints, illustrating scenes from popular novels. Each plate c. 335 x 260mm (13¼ x 10¼"). Images generally good, some foxing. They are sandwich mounted; all appear to have margins.
These are (ostensibly) illustrations of Fielding's Tom Jones, Cleland's Fanny Hill, and Rousseau's La Nouvelle Heloise and Les Confessions. Radically different from George Morland's (1763-1804) more familiar rustic genre, landscapes and elegant portraits of decorous young ladies, these plates graphically depict sexual intercourse and activity in a variety of situations. They are almost certainly engraved by William Ward (1766-1826) and John Raphael Smith (1752-1812), with whom Morland enjoyed a fruitful business partnership. All plates captioned, with the appropriate literary reference; all are (naturally) unsigned. Some of the faces, and other more intimate parts of the human anatomy, have been reworked (one impression in particular is rather faint). In June 2012 Christie's sold an album of 13 similar erotic plates titled 'Facetiae'. The BM lists ten on its website.
Chaloner Smith undescribed. See D'Oench p. 133.
[Ref: 28133] £6,500.00