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Genuine, original William Hogarth engravings and etchings from Darvill's Rare Prints

Beer Street and Gin Lane

Negligence, poverty and death in London

Hogarth claimed that these prints were 'calculated to reform some reigning Vices peculiar to the lower Class of People.' They were published in support of a campaign directed against gin drinking among London's poor. Consumption of cheap spirits by the poor had soared in the early eighteenth century, with dire social consequences. The campaign was led by Hogarth's friend, the novelist Henry Fielding (1707-54), who was chief magistrate for Westminster from 1749 to 1754. It was successful: an act against gin was passed later in 1751. This prevented retail sale of gin by the shops that sold normal household necessities, and was effective in curbing the evils of spirit drinking.

Beer Street celebrates the virtues of the mildly intoxicating traditional national drink. Beer inspires artists and refreshes tradesmen and labourers. It can be drunk safely on rooftops. The newfangled foreign spirit gin, however, inspires violence and careless inebriation. A gin-sodden mother is oblivious to her child's fall. Addiction to spirits leads to negligence, poverty and death.

The verses were written by Hogarth's friend James Towneley to make plain the meaning of the images. The prints were too expensive for the urban poor, but would have been within the means of the middle-class electorate. The horrors of Gin Lane provided imagery for propaganda against alcohol for another hundred years.


References:

British Museum

R. Paulson, Hogarths graphic works, 3rd edition (London, The Print Room, 1989)

D. Bindman, Hogarth and his times: serious, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1997)

M. Hallett, The spectacle of difference: g (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1999)

R. Paulson, Hogarth, vol 2 (Cambridge, Lutterworth, 1991-93)

Beer Street by William Hogarth

(click thumbnail to enlarge, the Darvill's digital watermark
obviously does not appear on the actual engraving)

Gin Lane by William Hogarth

(click thumbnail to enlarge, the Darvill's digital watermark
obviously does not appear on the actual engraving)

Beer Street

Original copperplate engraving/etching, over 195 years old.

Overall framed size: approximately 22 x 24.25 inches
Frame is gold with red highlights, double mat with outer mat a pale gold raw silk with black inner mat

Mat opening: approx. 13 x 15.25 inches

Condition: Excellent. No significant flaws to mention.
Please see large photo of plate by clicking on above image.
There are minor refelections on the glass and frame in the photo.
This is a very nice, dark impression of one of Hogarth's most sought after engravings!

Text below etching:

Beer, happy Produce of our Isle
Can sinewy Strength impart,
And wearied with Fatigue and Toil
Can cheer each manly Heart.

Labour and Art upheld by Thee
Successfully advance,
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee
And Water leave to France.

Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste
Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast
With Liberty and Love!

Gin Lane

Original copperplate engraving/etching, over 195 years old.

Overall framed size: approximately 22 x 24.25 inches
Frame is gold with red highlights, double mat with outer mat a pale gold raw silk with black inner mat

Mat opening: approx. 13 x 15.25 inches

Condition: Excellent. No significant flaws to mention.
Please see large photo of plate by clicking on above image.
There are minor refelections on the glass and frame in the photo.
This is a very nice, dark impression of one of Hogarth's most sought after engravings!

Text below etching:

Gin, cursed Fiend, with Fury fraught,
Makes human Race a Prey.
It enters by a deadly Draught
And steals our Life away.

Virtue and Truth, driv'n to Despair
Its Rage compells to fly,
But cherishes with hellish Care
Theft, Murder, Perjury.

Damned Cup! that on the Vitals preys
That liquid Fire contains,
Which Madness to the heart conveys,
And rolls it thro' the Veins.

Beer Street and Gin Lane

by William Hogarth

Original 195+-year-old Copperplate Engravings and Etchings from:
The Works of William Hogarth from the Original Plates Restored by James Heath, Esq., R.A.; With the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected: To Which is Prefixed, a Biographical Essay on the Genius and Productions of Hogarth, and Explanations on the Subjects of the Plates by John Nichols, Esq., F.S.A.

London. Printed for Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, Paternoster Row
by Nichols and Son, Parliament Street
1822

$3,250

Sold as a pair only. Additional shipping charges may apply to these framed items. Please either contact us prior to purchase for a shipping quote or look for an emailed invoice with any possible additional charges for shipping to your location.

 

Please note: shipping may be higher than is calculated upon checkout. We may need to send an electronic invoice for any additional shipping/insurance.
Please be sure to check your email or contact us prior to purchase for a more accurate shipping quote based on your location.


Beer Street by William Hogarth

(click thumbnail to enlarge, the Darvill's digital watermark
obviously does not appear on the actual engraving)

Gin Lane by William Hogarth

(click thumbnail to enlarge, the Darvill's digital watermark
obviously does not appear on the actual engraving)

Beer Street

Original copperplate engraving/etching, over 195 years old.

Sheet size: approximately 16 x 20 inches, thick woven paper.

Image size: (to plate mark impressions): approx. 13 x 15.25 inches
(approx. 33 x 38.75 cm)

Condition: please see condition notes below, above the price and add to cart button

 

Text below etching:

Beer, happy Produce of our Isle
Can sinewy Strength impart,
And wearied with Fatigue and Toil
Can cheer each manly Heart.

Labour and Art upheld by Thee
Successfully advance,
We quaff Thy balmy Juice with Glee
And Water leave to France.

Genius of Health, thy grateful Taste
Rivals the Cup of Jove,
And warms each English generous Breast
With Liberty and Love!

Gin Lane

Original copperplate engraving/etching, over 195 years old.

Sheet size: approximately 16 x 20 inches, thick woven paper.

Image size: (to plate mark impressions): approx. 13 x 15.25 inches
(approx. 33 x 38.75 cm)

Condition: please see condition notes below, above the price and add to cart button

Text below etching:

Gin, cursed Fiend, with Fury fraught,
Makes human Race a Prey.
It enters by a deadly Draught
And steals our Life away.

Virtue and Truth, driv'n to Despair
Its Rage compells to fly,
But cherishes with hellish Care
Theft, Murder, Perjury.

Damned Cup! that on the Vitals preys
That liquid Fire contains,
Which Madness to the heart conveys,
And rolls it thro' the Veins.

Beer Street and Gin Lane

by William Hogarth

Original 195+-year-old Copperplate Engravings and Etchings from:
The Works of William Hogarth from the Original Plates Restored by James Heath, Esq., R.A.; With the Addition of Many Subjects Not Before Collected: To Which is Prefixed, a Biographical Essay on the Genius and Productions of Hogarth, and Explanations on the Subjects of the Plates by John Nichols, Esq., F.S.A.

London. Printed for Baldwin, Cradock & Joy, Paternoster Row
by Nichols and Son, Parliament Street
1822

Condition: Fair. This pair of engravings has been through a lot in the past 195 years!
Here are the issues: both plates have tears on the left margin that extend into the plate mark but not the image. Non-acidic tape has been used to stabilize these tears, but acidic sticky tape was used previously and is still present.
Both plates have damage to the upper right margin, well outside of the image area. These would be covered when mounting/matting for framing.
They were probably mounted with acidic materials at some point, so there is some acid burn. Photos of the backs of the paper have been taken. Please see enlargement.
There is some minor foxing and very faint handling creases. A couple of very small, minor damp stains at the bottom of the paper.

The impressions of these two engravings are strong; nice and dark. Some paper conservation would bring these back to great condition, or just enjoy them as they are!
Close mounting/matting would cover the tears and margin damage. The engravings are being sold "as is" with all inherent flaws as described above.
Price has already been reduced accordingly for this very sought-after pair of Hogarth's most famous prints.  

 



 

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