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Estimate: $ 8,000 - $ 12,000
(JUVENILE DRAMA.) Cruikshank, Robert. Portfolio of fine original watercolor drawings. 25 finished ink and watercolor drawings for juvenile drama portrait sheets, signed or monogrammed in ink or pencil below, many captioned (5 images together with matching hand-colored engraved plates). Approximately 9x7 1/2 inches each sheet size; 20 in mounts, various light soiling primarily at edges, one image foxed. London, 1830's
Fine collection of original watercolor drawings intended to serve as models for juvenile drama portraits at the peak of the genre's popularity. All similar in style, the drawings appear to have been created for the use of John Fairburn, a successful printer of theatrical scenes in the 1830's. Three of the present matching engravings were published by Fairburn, while two others bear the imprint of William Spencer Johnson, a publisher known to have issued later strikes of Fairburn's plates.
Toy Theater was an established English child's amusement since the early 1800's; however, popularity increased significantly when the talents of more accomplished artists such as George and Robert Cruikshank became involved in creating the portraits of contemporary actors and actresses in their prominent roles. The present series of drawings by Robert Cruikshank are finely done, portraying almost identifiable likenesses of the thespians exuberantly engaged in the detailed costumes of their stage roles. Some of the notable portraits included here: Mr. Kean as Richard III, Mr. Farley as Grindoff in the Miller & His Men, Mr. Edwin, as the Prince of China in the Bronze Horse, Mr. O Smith as Mammon in the Devils Ducat, Miss Huddart as Joan of Arc, Miss Louisa Pyne as Don Juan, Mr. Butler as Walder the Avenger, Mr. Ducrow & His Favorite Pegasus Dancing the Persian Minuet in Charlemagne, Mr. C Hill as Saint Bernard in the Avenger, Miss Vincent as Prince Aladdin and Miss H Lewis as Ann Jane Thornton the Female Sailor.