Wednesday 10 January 2024

Two Interiors by Louis Phillipe Boitard

Two Exquisitely Detailed Drawings perhaps by Louis - Phillipe Boitard (fl. 1733 - 67).

The Perruquirs and the Merchant Taylors.

Although the Merchant Taylors drawing seems to have been signed by Hubert Gravelot. 

Louis-Phillipe Boitard 

He was first noted by George Vertue in 1742: ‘Boitard engraver, lately come from Paris—some merit—good stock of assurance ’ (Vertue, Note books), although it seems that he had been in London from at least 1733.

Boitard may have spent some time again in France between 1741 and 1743.

His father Francois (c. 1667 - 1719) was born in Toulouse and pupil of La Fage (1656-1690); to London for a few years c.1709, died after 1717; father of Louis Philippe. Mariette calls him 'homme inquiet et debauche', notorious for a set of postures? Returned to Holland after London and died in The Hague.

May have acted as agent to purchase pictures for Dr. Meade's collection.

Signature of Boitard inv. on frontispieces in earliest illustrated edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's Plays, possible early illustrator of Shakespeare? (see H.A. Hammelman article in Country Life, September 24th, 1959).

I can not currently find any address for him 

At the Perruquiers.

This sheet is a preparatory drawing for an (unpublished) engraving.

The Perruquier was also a Hairdresser and Barber.

Fascinating depiction of a Georgian shop interior - with an early illustration of a dated lead water cistern of 1733, initialed HWM  in situ over a lead lined sink (containing a barbers shaving bowl).

Bonhams. London.  Lot 7, 23 Sept 2008.

 Pen and ink and wash.

22.5 x 31cm (8 7/8 x 12 3/16in).

Prepared for engraving. Although no engraving is known - Perhaps one of a series certainly a pair to the drawing below.

Robert Campbell's The London Tradesman of 1747, was intended to guide potential apprentices and employees. Campbell states that the peruke maker 'has his fashions from Paris, like all other tradesmen, and the nearer he can approach to the patterns of that fickle trade, the better chance he has to succeed with his English customers.'


The Merchant Taylors

The sheet is a preparatory drawing for an engraving by George Bickham entitled 'The Merchant Taylors', published 29 June 1749.

Bickham was working at Mays Buildings, a court on the East side of St Martin's Lane.

Image from the Royal Collection.

What appears to have been missed is the signature of Hubert Gravelot in the bottom left corner of this drawing .


The Merchant Taylors.

Engraved and Published by George Bickham (1706 - 71) at May's Buildings (off St Martin's Lane).


info below from BM website

George Bickham was at the Blackmoor's Head over against Surrey Street in the Strand (c.1740-1).

May's Buildings, Covent Garden by 1741.

In an advertisement in the Daily Post, 13 April 1741, Bickham gives both the above addresses.

Printmaker and publisher; son of George Bickham the Elder  a prolific publisher of a very wide range of prints; first major publication, a series of engraved song sheets entitled 'The Musical Entertainer' (1737). 

Apprentices: William Austin (1747), and his nephew Thomas Butcher (1759). 

Some prints published by Bickham seem also to have been engraved/etched by him although lettered with pseudonyms. 

Announced his retirement on 25 April 1767 (Public Advertiser) stating that his business would be continued by Thomas Butcher (q.v.). Died in Richmond, Surrey, on 21 June 1771, leaving his property to his widow, Elizabeth; sale of his copper plates and rolling press advertised in the Public Advertiser, 9 January 1772.

Collaborated with his father, and many of their prints have not been properly identified; when there is any doubt, prints have been placed under George Bickham the Younger.

A broadside dated 1745 (1898,0520.166) describes Bickham's trade: 'Where all Sorts of Picture-Work, as well as Writing and Shopkeeper's Bills, are exectued in a neat Manner, and at the most reasonaable Rates. Authors and Booksellers may have Frontispieces and Cuts, for Books, design'd, drawn, and engraved in the best Taste, and printed in the cleanest Manner, to produce a beautiful Impression, at the lowest Prices: As also Pictures neatly framed and glazed: Where all Gentlemen, Merchants, City and Country Shopkeepers, and Chapmen, may be furnished at the best Hand.'


The Strand Riots - Ist July 1749.


Published by Robert Sayer of Fleet Street

The rioting that destroyed a bawdy house on the Strand. Lasting from July 1st through July 3rd, the London neighborhood was the site of continuous violence. It began when a sailor was robbed by a prostitute.

Her pimp, assaulted the sailor who returned with a group of his shipmates that night.

Boitard depicts "The Sailor's Revenge" on that establishment in this print.


The Strand Riot of 1749 is remembered for the wig maker Bosavaren Penlez who was executed for his role. Penlez was caught looting the “tavern”or Bawdy House of Peter Wood on the third night of the riots and became a scapegoat.

Henry Fielding defended the court's sentence, though many were appalled by it. Politics played a significant role in the city's response to the riot, and the failure to indict any sailors may be a reflection of that.

see The Newgate Calendar excerpt -

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