antique prints, maps and watercolors

(Samuel Howitt) Giles Grinagain “Seeing the Wild Beastesses,” London 1804, $225.00

“Seeing the Wild Beastesses”

This early 19th century English caricature was engraved by Samuel Howitt, best known for his sporting prints. It seems that a mid-life crisis may have caused the usually sober Howitt, to produce a group of comical satires under the name of “Giles Grinagain.” From the spring of 1801 through the summer of 1802 a series of Grinagain satires was published from 15 Queen Street, Soho, or from 6 Panton Street, Haymarket. Howitt certainly would have been influenced by his brother-in-law Thomas Rowlandson and one wonders how much of a common effort these caricatures were. The run of Howitt's 'Grinagain' caricatures ended suddenly in the middle of 1802. The existing copperplates, designs and related material went to Samuel Fores, who was to reissue a batch of the satires in 1804. This caricature is one of many utilizing ‘Cockney’ language for their humor. Here the visitor says, “Pray Mr Keeper does Helephants heat A?” The answer is, “No Sir, they live upon Cockneys.”

Copperplate engraving,
7 ¾ x 8 inches sheet,
full original hand color, trimmed to image, very good condition.