|Method||Mezzotint and etching|
|Artist||after Robert Dighton|
|Published||[Printed for & Sold by Carington Bowles. No. 69 ST. Paul's Church Yard, London, c. 1791]|
|Dimensions||Image 137 x 112 mm, Plate 152 x 112 mm, Sheet 163 x 122 mm|
A proof impression of this scarce miniature mezzotint droll, satirising a Lawyer who stands raising and oyster to his mouth while he hands the two halves of the shell to two disgruntled looking clients. A larger format mezzotint droll of the same image includes an inscription that reads: "A pearly shell for him and thee - the oyster is the lawyer's fee".
Robert Dighton (1752 - 1814) was an English draughtsman and printmaker. He was the son of the art dealer John Dighton , and father of the artists Robert junior, Denis and Richard. Dighton was especially well known for his satirical prints, which he initially supplied to Carington Bowles and Haines. Later plates he etched, published and sold himself. Dighton infamously stole prints from the British Museum to stock his shop in Charing Cross. When this was discovered in 1806, Dighton escaped prosecution, but was forced to lie low in Oxford until the scandal died down. While there, he produced a series of satirical portraits of academics and country gentlemen. The series was continued in Bath and Cambridge.
Carington Bowles (1724-1793) was one of the leading print publishers, printers and sellers of the eighteenth century. He apprenticed with his father John Bowles and worked with him as John Bowles & Son from 1753 to 1762, after which he took over his uncle's business in St Paul's Churchyard, London.
BM Satrires 3762 (reduced version), Chaloner Smith Undescribed.
Condition: Proof before all letters. Light crease to bottom right corner. Toning to sheet.