Mrs. Midnight's Animal Comedians.
Engraving, sheet 205 x 245mm (8 x 9¾"). Very scarce; folds as issued.
Monkeys and dogs dressed as humans, performing various acts including a 'siege', agility tricks, dining at a table, and monkeys riding dogs. The animals performed at the Haymarket Theatre in London in 'A Pantomime Entertainment by the Animal Comedians, Brought from Italy by one Signor Ballard'. The act was part of a variety show billed as 'Mrs. Midnight's Oratory' or 'The Old Woman's Oratory'. The producer, performer ('as Mrs. Midnight') and main supplier of songs and recitations for this show was the poet Christopher Smart (1722-71), one of many projects he undertook with the bookseller John Newbery while trying to make his way as a serious poet.
[Ref: 39529] £260.00