Lot 8 of 338:
W. Summers' Black Jokes in aquatint c.1835  

Click image to enlarge
Lot closed - unsold
$500 - $800

Lewis & Co.'s Selection of Their Comic Black Jokes. From the designs of the most eminent artists

Summers, W.


Lewis & Co.



6 aquatint plates etched by Hunt after W. Summers. 37x27.5 cm (14½x10¾"), blue printed decorative wrappers.

Series of uncolored aquatint plates lampooning in a derogatory manner person's of African descent, each headed "Lewis's Black Jokes" with the title in the lower margin. The plates are in landscape format. We could find no examples in OCLC or auction records of Lewis's Black Jokes, but there are a few listings of "Treagear's [or Tregear's] Black Jokes," consisting of twenty plates, in the same format and by the same artists, but with the plates colored. The present assemblage has six plates numbered 7 and 14 through 18. We have not been able to determine if they are entirely different plates that the Treagear set, or uncolored versions of the same plates. 

The plates are, in order of appearance:

  • The Portrait. No. 16.
  • The First Lesson. No. 17.
  • The Advertisement. No. 18.
  • The Card Party: "They are Certainly Black Legs." No. 7.
  • Don Juan and Zerline. No. 14.
  • Cinderella and the Black Prince: "Her form had all the softness of her sex/ Her features al the sweetness of the devil. Don Juan." No. 15.

Lot Amendments

Wrappers with spine perished, some extremity wear; some light foxing and aging within; very good.

Item number:
Shipping info:

We have a full service shipping department to ensure proper packing and safe delivery of purchases at reasonable cost. We are specialists at packing and shipping books and works on paper.   All lots purchased by the same client are combined for shipping in order to keep the cost as economical as possible.  Our preferred method for domestic shipments is UPS Ground but we can also ship via FedEx or USPS Priority Mail. We do NOT ship USPS Media Mail under any circumstances.For international orders we select the most appropriate carrier depending on the value and weight of the items purchased.  We are happy to accommodate special arrangements by request.

Invoices are sent out the day following the auction and include a minimum $10 handling fee plus actual shipping and insurance charges.

Shipping estimates can be obtained  by contacting [email protected] prior to the auction.


Terms and conditions


All accepted bids are contracts and are considered final and non withdrawable.


A buyer's premium of 20% will be applied to all purchases.


The person posting the bids online has to be the person who has registered for the auction.