London, Publish'd Jan.y 1.st 1780 by Watson & Dickinson No 158 New Bond Street
Stipple printed in sepia, 18th century watermark; sheet 385 x 305mm (15¼ x 12"). Trimmed to platemark on three sides.
American War of Independence interest. Two British soldiers, desperate for recruits, size up a motley bunch of volunteers to assist in the war against the former British colonies in America. The inspection takes place outside a tavern, suggesting both drunkenness amongst the recruits and (through the one-legged veteran depicted on the inn-sign) what may be in store for them. Caricature 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, often incorporating subtle details of topography and costume.
[Ref: 38676] £230.00