London, Publish'd Nov.r 15th 1780 by Watson & Dickinson, No. 158 New Bond Street.
Stipple, printed in brown, platemark 300 x 395mm (11¾ x 15½") Large margins.
Caricature of a billiards game by Henry William Bunbury (1750-1811). After taking the grand tour from 1769, Bunbury made his name with a flood of works poking fun at foreigners, particularly the French (Horace Walpole, an avid collector of his works, hailed him as a 'second Hogarth'). He subsequently expanded his range into fanciful and sentimental subjects popularised by artists such as Wheatley and Morland, illustrations of literary works, and sporting subjects (his brother was a noted horse-racing administrator). While he reputation long languished besides that of Rowlandson and Gillray (both of whom engraved his work), Bunbury's gentle, burlesque style provides an important record of mid- to late Georgian society. In this print, which shows numerous prints and pictures pasted against a wall, the chief point of interest is the use of the leather-tipped cue, which must just have been invented, replacing the 'spoon', a row of which stands in a rack against the wall. As such it subtlyindicates the development of the game.
BM: 5803; see F.L. Wilder, 'English Sporting Prints', pp.190-1.
[Ref: 38675] £520.00