Sir Ralph Abercromby c1801
Excellent rare original miniature engraved print by John Kay c1801: General Sir Ralph Abercromby K.B Viewing the Army encamped on the plains of Egypt. C1801. The addition of delicate well executed later hand colour to the etching. Beautifully mounted with a hand painted unique gold gilt surround and boarder. With gold and matt black glazed frame. A striking presentation to this rare print.
The print is age toned with some light spot fox stains. Visible print area approx 7.5" x 5.5" (190mm x 140mm). External frame dimensions: Height 15" x 12.5" Width (380mm x 320mm).
John Kay (1742 - 1826) was born near Dalkeith, Midlothian in 1742. The son of a mason, he was apprenticed at the age of thirteen to George Heriot, a barber in Dalkeith. Six years later he moved to Edinburgh where he continued to work as a journeyman barber. In 1771 he was enrolled a member of the Society of Surgeon-Barbers and set up in business on his own account. In his spare time he began to produce highly original portrait sketches and caricatures of Edinburgh characters, despite having no formal training in drawing. He attracted the patronage of William Nisbet of Dirleton, who settled an annuity upon him, and in 1785 was finally able to give up his trade for art. Kay opened a shop in Parliament Close where he sold his etchings and from 1784 - 1822 he is calculated to have etched nearly nine hundred plates portraying many of the most notable Scotsmen of the day. Within twelve years of his death his caricatures were published in a two-volume book, 'A series of original portraits and caricature etchings by the late John Kay', with a second edition following four years later.
A genuine antique print over 200 years old.