“New Pictures … from off Wooden Prints … With Verses applicable to each Print” • ca. 1750

DSCN0005.cropped
Happy marriage. (London : Printed and sold by R. Marshall … , ca. 1750). Call number: (EX) Item 6699052q

DSCN0002.cropped
Description of a Bad Wife. ([London: R. Marshall, ca. 1750]). Call number: (EX) Item 6699048q
• Note at lower right corner, the publisher’s series number ‘[No.I ...'

❧ Richard Marshall was a printer, bookseller, publisher of chapbooks and prints, as well as a seller of maps, charts, and prints, who traded at number 4 Aldermary Churchyard, Bow Lane, London, from ca. 1753 to ca. 1785. He published on his own as well as with partner Cluer Dicey. It is from their joint catalogue published in 1764 that we get a glimpse of the publishing context for these two unrecorded prints. The catalogue [digitized copy] offers for sale more than 1000 separate prints arranged by type (copperplate, on the one hand, “wooden (i.e. woodcut) prints,” on the other) and size of paper (Royal, Foolscap, Pott). In addition, to Copper Royals, Foolscap Sheets, Pott Sheets, Perspective Views, and Wood Royals, Dicey and Marshall offered maps, copy-books, drawing-books, histories, old ballads, patters (i.e. verse), collections, Christmas carols, small histories, and small books. • Evidence from both these prints and the catalogue show that the prints were issued in numbered series. In the 1764 catalogue, as number 71 in the ‘Fools-cap Sheets’ series, Dicey and Marshall offer ‘The Happy and Unhappy Marriage.’ Although printed on paper larger than foolscap, the Library’s ‘Happy Marriage’ is perhaps a precursor to the 1764 print. Matching foolscap in size is ‘Description of a Bad Wife.’ • Popular ballads of the day warned of bad wives and extolled those “loving, careful [and] prudent.”

Note: For larger image size, right click image and select “Open image / link in new window / tab.”

Leave a Reply