A Peep at The Gas Lights in Pall-Mall. Thomas Rowlandson.

A Peep at The Gas Lights in Pall-Mall

London: Thomas Tegg, ca 1810. Rowlandson, Thomas. Wraps. 27 x 40.5, Hand colored etching, Rowlandson after George Woodward. A German named Winsor raised 50,000 pounds to brighten Pall Mall in a speculation that failed. A view of the pavement of Pall Mall seen from the cobbled roadway; it recedes slightly from left to right and is backed by part of the screen and façade of Carlton House, with part of the adjacent house on the extreme left on which is a door-plate inscribed Sherry [Sheridan]. On the pavement are three of the new gas-lamps; a tall post with three globes, one at the summit, flanked by two others on slender curving branches. In each globe is a triple flame. A fashionably dressed young man (left), points with his riding-whip, instructing the lady who holds his arm: The Coals being steam'd produces tar or paint for outside of Houses—the Smoke passing thro' water is deprived of substance and burns as you see. A fat Irishman turns to say to the speaker: Arrah honey if this man [Winsor] bring fire thro water we shall soon have the Thames and the Liffey burnt down—and all the pretty little Herrings & Whales burnt to cinders. A fat countryman (right) gazes up, saying, Wauns what a main pretty light it be. we have nothing like it in our Country. A lank Quaker on tiptoe, standing beside him, says: Aye Friend but it is all Vanity, what is this to the inward light. On the extreme right a flamboyant courtesan with her bare arms in a muff says to a buck who inspects her through his glass: If this light is not put a stop too—we must give up our business We may as well shut up shop. The man answers: True my dear not a dark corner to be got for love or money. Plate numbered 173. 23 December 1809? Pinhole left margin. Edge nicks repaired on verso. Near fine. Item #22985

Price: $525.00

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