C.J. Grant, The Hungry Epicure Disappointed, c.1832
A quick update to share this image of a fabulous ink and wash sketch by C.J. Grant.
It was originally part of a set of five hand-drawn caricatures by Grant which sold at Bonhams in 2010 for the princely sum of £4,000. The set was evidently then broken up, as this drawing has just resurfaced on the market on its own and is currently being offered for sale by a private dealer.
Although I have been unable to locate any reference to a printed version of this image online, a copy of one of the drawings sold alongside this picture in 2010 had appeared in issue twelve of an obscure radical journal entitled John Bull’s Picture Gallery (1832). It is therefore possible that this image was also a proof for a caricature which subsequently appeared in another edition of the same magazine.
The image itself is a fairly straight-forward piece of humour. A hideous old gentleman sits at his breakfast table in ravenous anticipation of his latest repast. “Come, come, Dame”, he asks his equally grotesque housekeeper, “…isn’t my Eggs and Bacon done yet, I’m literally famish’d in waiting.” “I am very sorry to inform your Worship”, the woman responds, “…that just as I had done em’ so nice, all this here soot fell into the pan.” To prove her point, she holds up a huge skillet into which the kitchen chimney has recently deposited a towering pile of ash.
It looks like it’s going to be cereal for breakfast again.
Mike Tregear said:
Whether the print as shown here was ever published in this form will be interesting to see. What is certain is that the concept of the drawing, and probably by Grant, was published in a modified form by Tregear. Tregear’s Flights of Humour No. 7 (or 10) depending on which you can see is clearly derived from this sketch. This can be seen at the Lewis Walpole Library Digital Library with Call No. 831.00.00.33.
The titles are also derived from one another. Your posting “The Hungry Epicure – Disappointed”. Tregear, with the longer “Everyman his own Cook. A Disappointment. Hollo! The devil take the soot it’s spoid all my eggs and bacon. This enough to make a Parson swear”.
On the question of dating I may be about to throw a little of my own soot. Tregear’s Flights of Humour No. 10 was advertised in the Morning Chronicle of Wednesday the 4th May 1831 as having been just published although the advert gives the title as “What a shocking bad hat”. And Tregear was not the best quality control publisher of his day. No. 1 in the series has been dated both 1830 and 1832 while number 4 is dated 1830. Number 18 is dated July 1832.
You note that the sketch you show was one of five sold in the same lot. It would be interesting to see these (if this is at all possible) in order to determine whether any of the other early Flights of Humour were based or derived from them and/or also used in John Bulls Picture Book.
On a final note. Grants Oddities No. 1 published by Kendrick in 1834? has a panel to the top left of the print in which Grant claims authorship of Tregear’s Flights of Humour.
Good to hear from you again Mike. It looks as though both of my eyes have been thoroughly blacked!
The titles of the other hand-drawn caricatures given in the auctioneer’s catalogue are:
1. Quite Politely;
2. The Present State of John Bull;
3. A Picture of Wants or Human Nature Delineated;
4. The Fox at the Cupboard.
‘The Present State of John Bull’ was reproduced in issue 12 of ‘John Bull’s Picture Gallery’ in 1832. However, as the British Museum has yet to add an image of this version to their website, I have been unable to verify whether this was a direct copy or a modified version of the original drawing.
Unfortunately, I don’t have images of all of the sketches. However, Grant’s original draft of ‘A Picture of Wants…’ can still be found on the Bonhams website:
A modified version of this image was published by Gans, under the title ‘Wants! Dedicated to the King’s Cabinet Minister’s’ in 1830.
This would suggest that Grant produced the drawings during 1830 but that some of them were not put to commercial use until 1831 or 1832.