Sunday, March 12, 2006

Penny Plain

Mr. Barnes as Pantaloon
1829 etching from Drury Lane Theatre

Mr. Huntley, as Edward the Black Prince, 1st dress
1822 etching

Mr. H. Kemble as Aslan the Lion
c. 1831-1834 etching

Mr. Osbaldistone [Osbaldiston] as Rolla
c. 1837-1840 etching

Van Amburgh, the Brute Tamer of Pompeii!
1838 etching

Mr. Ducrow in the Vicissitude of a Tar
c. 1820-1830 etching

Mrs. Vining as Rattlin the Reefer
1820 etching

I was reading about a forthcoming Regency Toy Theatre exhibition in Birmingham and went searching around to see if any of the engravings were available online when I happened upon a set of 'penny plain' etchings in the Billy Rose Theatre Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
'The toy theatre prints in the Appleton Collection are English. By 1811 William West of London was printing sheets of stage characters for purchasers to colour, paste on cardboard and cut out, though others treaured them as individual portraits. Single prints in black ink on white paper were called "penny plains" while those with color added by the seller were the "twopence coloured."'

2 comments :

pita said...

serie 2 in color:
http://digitalgallery.nypl.org/nypldigital/dgkeysearchresult.cfm?parent_id=446663&word=

pk said...

Thanks pita - I was going to come back for the colour ones in the future!

NYPL is arguably one of the best collections of old book/print illustrations on the internet. I try not to wear out my welcome - it's like shooting fish in a barrel ;)

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