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

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Title:
Lewis & Co.'s Selection of Their Comic Black Jokes. From the designs of the most eminent artists
Author:
Summers, W.
Place:
London
Publisher:
Lewis & Co.
Date:
c.1835
Description:

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
Condition:
Wrappers with spine perished, some extremity wear; some light foxing and aging within; very good.
 
Item number:
305759
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