[George Cruikshank.] Set of four aquatint hand-coloured engravings on a single sheet, comprising the four parts of 'The Dancing Lesson' ('The 1st. Position', 'The Minuet', 'L'ete' and 'The Sailors Hornpipe').

George Cruikshank (1792-1878), English engraver
Publication details: 
Published by Thomas McLean, 26 Haymarket [London]. 1 August 1835.
SKU: 15775

The four engravings are arranged in two rows (the first two parts on the top row and the last two parts on the bottom row) on a sheet of 27 x 38 cm wove paper. Each engraving is 12 x 16 cm, within a light-blue frame, with the 'The Dancing Lesson - Pt. 1 [4]' beneath the image, and the subtitle above. Publisher's details in bottom right-hand corner, and Cruikshank's details at bottom left. (The first part has Cruikshank's monogram and 'Etchd by G Cruikk.', and the other three parts have 'G Cruikshank fect'. On aged and worn paper, with chipping to one margin in particular (not affecting images) and a 2cm closed tear extending 0.5cm into the frame of the fourth illustration. It is now unclear whether there is a satirical intent behind the series, but the illustrations remain a series of charming compositions, showing a spindly dancing master in fashionable attire, playing the fiddle while instructing a group of eager infants how to dance. The present set is a later printing of the series, the first having been published by G. Humphrey of 27 St James's St. on 8 July 1822 , and another, also by Humphrey, on 6 March 1824. The series is not often encountered as issued on its original sheet.