"His Office Shelves With Parish Laws are Grac'd, But Spelling Books and Guides Between Them Plac'd" Hogarth, William [1697-1764], After. Cook, Thomas [c.1744-1818], Engraver. A Woman Swearing Her Child to a Grave Citizen. Copperplate engraving by Thomas Cook after a painting by William Hogarth. London c. 1795-1822. 19-1/4" x 21" image size 11-3/4" x 14," copperplate engraving. Attractively mounted and matted. Negligible light toning and dampspotting to margins, image notably fresh. $250. * A fine example of Hogarth's satirical work, this engraving is captioned with twelve lines of verse describing the scene. It depicts a pregnant woman pleading with a seated justice of the peace to order the "rich old lecher" at the centre of the print to acknowledge his paternity and provide for the unborn child. (The books on the shelves are: The Complete Justice and The Art of Spelling; a just-consulted Law of Bastardy sits on the justice's table.) Hogarth never produced a print of this work during his lifetime. Cook's was the first. A skilled engraver, Cook played an important role in the preservation of Hogarth's legacy through his Hogarth Restored: The Whole Works of the Celebrated William Hogarth (1795 and later editions through 1822), which is the source of this plate.
Book number 58686