There was an Old Man of Whitehaven…

There was an Old Man of Whitehaven,
Who danced a quadrille with a raven;
But they said, ‘It’s absurd
To encourage this bird!’
So they smashed that Old Man of Whitehaven.

From the Recent Antiquarian Acquisitions blog at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University:

PrintmakerLane, Theodore, 1800-1828.
TitleMoments of pleasure [graphic].
Publication[London] : Pubd. by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s St., 1820 [ca. November]

British Museum online collection:

Seated on a sofa, the Queen, wearing a large feathered hat, receives the news of the dropping of the Bill; beside her is a paper: ‘Bill of Pains Thrown out’. Alderman Wood, in a furred gown more elegant than civic, capers before her, holding up his arms, snapping his fingers, and grinning with delight. The Queen looks up at him, with a gesture of surprised satisfaction; she is caricatured, but better characterized than in other prints, resembling the description given by Creevey of her appearance at the trial on 17 Aug. She sits facing a long scroll on which names of places presenting Addresses are inscribed (see No. 13934, &c.): ‘London’ (in large letters), ‘Westminster’, ‘So[uthwark]’. On the wall behind her is a (flattering) bust portrait of Bergami, wearing his decorations (see No. 13810). In the doorway (left) are the leading members of a body of proletarian addressers; the foremost, with the curved shin-bones known as ‘cheesecutters’ which resulted from rickets, holds a paper: ‘Address to the Queen’; they are received by a thin, sour-looking lady, evidently Lady Anne Hamilton. They have two banners: ‘Queer Fellows’ and ‘St Gi[les]’, but among them is the profile of Hobhouse, the radical M.P. for Westminster. Over the wide doorway is a picture or relief of two little puppets on a string: the King and Queen performing antics while the string is pulled by a fiddler and another man, watched by two bystanders. The room (in Brandenburgh House) is ornately furnished; a heavy curtain is draped round a pillar.
c. November 1820
Hand-coloured etching

British Museum online collection:

A companion plate to No. 13989 by the same artist, and with the same imprint. A Chinese interior resembling that of No. 13986. George IV as a mandarin, languid and ill, sits cross-legged on a low settee. Peacock’s feathers (cf. No. 13299) decorate his round hat. Sidmouth as a Chinese doctor feels his pulse with concern. At the King’s feet is a long rolled document headed ‘List of Addresses presented to Caroline Queen of [Engla]nd’. Behind (right), a melancholy Chinese messenger hands Bloomfield (a Chinese wearing a large sword) a paper: ‘Bill Thrown Out’. The latter registers dismay with raised arms. There is a slanting cloud of smoke as in No. 13986. On the wall is a picture of the Queen, with sword and shield, fighting a dragon. Carved dragons decorate the King’s settee (or throne), and there is a big dragon jar on the right; all the dragons look menacingly towards the King, who rests his right hand on a table on which are decanter, pill-box, &c.
c. November 1820
Hand-coloured etching

There was an Old Man of Cape Horn,
Who wished he had never been born;
So he sat on a chair,
Till he died of despair,
That dolorous Man of Cape Horn.


There was an Old Person of Prague,
Who was suddenly seized with the Plague;
But they gave his some butter,
Which caused him to mutter,
And cured that Old Person of Prague.

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The Maid Was in the Garden

Edward Lear, “The Maid was in the garden, a hanging out the clothes”, original illustration for ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence’, pen and black ink on Whatman laid paper with partial watermark, sheet 138 x 220 mm. (5 3/8 x 8 3/4 in), small pin-hole damage and loss to upper left corner, minor browning to edges, unframed, [circa 1850-1880].

Gifted by the artist to Miss Clark, Narbeth (see previous lot of letters);
Gifted by Clark to the family of the present owner;
Thence by descent

⁂ Another version of the same subject can be found in the scrapbook compiled by Mrs. C. Beadon between 1852-1880, now held in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. (see: MS Typ 55.23). Another variant was exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts, exhibition in 1985, Edward Lear.

[Actually, I know at least three diofferent versions of Lear’s illustrations for this nursery rhyme.]

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear in Amalfi

I do not know how I could forget to mention that the catalogue I contributed to is now available on, but not from the other stores:

My contributions are a general introduction to Lear’s life up to 1844, his second visit to the area, the bibliography, and a final article on Thomas Uwins’s (uncle of James Uwins, who went to the area with Lear) stay at Corpo di Cava, but there are several other interesting essays.

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New Book on Edward Lear

James Williams’s book on Edward Lear is now available from Amazon, in the UK and in the USA.

I haven’t had time to read it yet but the introduction is very promising.

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Edward Lear, Plain of Damascus (1855)

Edward Lear, Plain of Damascus coming from Hermon.
Inscribed with title lower left, signed with initials lower right, 28th May 1855. Watercolour, 14.5cm x 21.5cm.

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Middle Eastern Landscape

Edward Lear, Middle Eastern landscape with figure approaching a ruined tower and classical columns in the distance, signed with monogram, and dated 1873, watercolour with scratching out, 10 x 20cm; and companion, a pair (2).

[This one might well be a view of the Roman Campagna, in my opinion.]

Prov: With Foord & Dickinson, 90 Wardour St, London.

[This also looks like it might be a picture of the Campagna.]

The Saleroom.

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Edward Lear, Gebel Wardan (1849)

Edward Lear, Gebel Wardan, Sinai.
Inscribed and dated l.r.: Gebel Wardan 10.50.AM. / 19.Jany. 1849 (64). Brown ink and pencil. 7.5 x 35.5cm / 2.9 x 14.0in.

Mr and Mrs Godfrey Pilkington of the Piccadilly Gallery

Lear drew a large number of sketches on his travels through Egypt and the Sinai desert, having left Malta for Alexandria at the start of 1849. We know that later on this day in 1849, he was close to Hawara, the site of a complex Roman subterranean necropolis and the pyramid of Amenemhat III (No. 70 in the series depicts an Encampent Near Hawara, sold Christie’s, South Kensington, Old Master and Early British Drawings and Watercolours, 6th December 2012, Lot 277)

The Saleroom.

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