Miss Harper [in pencil]
Pub.d as the Act Directs March 1st 1780 by W. Richardson No. 68 High Holborn
Mezzotint, rare with very large margins; platemark 155 x 115mm (6 x 4½"). Good impression; glued to backing sheet along left edge. Uncut.
Elizabeth Bannister (née Harper) (1757-1849), actress and singer. She also accompanied herself on the guitar, as shown in John Russell's 1799 portrait. At the time this print was made Harper was only three years into her career but was already earning high salaries. In 1778 she was contracted to perform at the Pantheon (on London's Oxford Street) for two years, earning one thousand pounds in the process. In 1783 she married the actor and comedian John Bannister, and she retired in 1792. From a set of small mezzotint portraits of actresses and singers, published by the printseller William Richardson in 1780, apparently to follow up a similar set of actor portraits published the previous year. Engraved after a painting by draughtsman and singer Robert Dighton (1751-1814) by the mezzotint engraver and printseller Robert Laurie (1755?-1836). Music, instruments and mask (representing theatre) in title area.
Ex: collection of the late Hon. C. Lennox-Boyd; CS 1 ii/iii. Ex: Oettingen-Wallerstein Collection.
[Ref: 36671] £240.00