A set of six early nineteenth-century sporting prints

n.p  c1820s.

A set of six hand-coloured lithographs on card showing the hand signals made to communicate from a distance when game shooting. Mounted on linen with two backed with marbled card so that these form the covers when folded. The folded set is housed in a marbled paper covered card slip-case. Each card measures 66x132mm and unfolded the whole is 200x265mm. The prints are in superb condition, with the colours particularly fresh and bright. They are undated but the clothes are clearly of the Regency period and much is made of the newly fashionable top hat which was the headwear of choice for the sporting gentleman for most of the nineteenth century. In part they are instructional, showing how to signal when a dog is required or when you want someone to "bring the powder and shot" but there is a gently humorous element as well particularly in the last card showing our hero holding his gun aloft. Balancing on the end of the barrels is his top hat. This elaborate manoeuvre means, we are told, "luncheon". Charming, and the best part of the day. We have been unable to trace another set of these prints.

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