Carolo II Caesari Britanico Patriae Patri Regum Optimo Clementissimo Augustissimo. Generis humani Delicijs Utriusq, Fortunae Victori Pacis Europae Arbitro, Maris Domino et Vindici. Societas Mercatorum Adventurum Angliae Quae per ccc jam prope Annos RegiaBenignitate Floret Fidei intemeratae Gratitudinis Aeternae Hoc Testimonium Venerabunda Posuit Anno Sas: Humanae MDCLXXXIV. LI.
London Printed and Sold by David Mortier at ye Sign of Erasmus's head in ye Strand. [n.d. c.1684.]
Engraving. Plate 672 x 481mm (26½ x 19"). Creasing and folded, water staining down right hand edge.
The statue of Charles II in the Royal Exchange, after Grinling Gibbons. As the dedication on the pedestal records, this statue of Charles II in the habit of a Roman Emperor with laurel about his head was erected in the Royal Exchange by the Society of Merchant Adventurers of England in 1684. It was destroyed by the fire that razed the Exchange in 1838, though a similar one in bronze is at the Royal Hospital in Chelsea. Vertue (IV 35) records that the stone statue was actually carved by Arnold Quellin, with whom Gibbons had entered into partnership in 1681. This was dissolved in 1683, presumably after the statue had been finished (see Katharine Gibson, in The Royal Exchange, ed.A.Saunders, 1997, pp.151-7). Gibbons obtained a most unusual type of patent to protect his statue. The 'London Gazette' for 15 May 1684 carries an announcement: 'His Majesty, being well satisfied with the performance of Mr Grinling Gibbons in the making his Majesties statue lately set up in the Royal Exchange, hath been pleased to forbid all persons to copy the same in graving, etching or in mezzotinto, without the approbation of the said Mr Gibbons.' Gibbons must have been very much in Charles's favour, for the London Gazette of 10 May 1686 announces an exceptional Royal permission for Gibbons and Parry Walton to hold a sale of pictures in the Banqueting House in Whitehall. This print was advertised in the Observator of 12 January 1685: 'The exact draught of the marble statue of his Majesty in the Royall Exchange so long expected is now (by permission of authority) finished. Curiously engraven by Mr Vandrebanc, and printed on a large sheet of imperiall paper. To be sold by Dorman Newman at the Kings Arms in the Poultry. Price 2s 6d.' Newman was a large-scale book publisher who issued a few prints between 1665 and his bankruptcy in 1694. He also put a notice of this plate in the Term Catalogues for February 1685 and November 1687: in the latter the price was reduced to 1s 6d. From Newman, the plate passed into the hands of David Mortier, a bookseller who sold at the sign of Erasmus Head in the Strand. Mortier died c.1728, and the plate passed to John King in the Poultry, the great reprinter of old plates (an impression published by King is in Crowle XII 49).
[Ref: 28955] £260.00