Fairburn, S. Mrs. Egerton as Helen MacGregor. Published as the Act Directs Oct. 9, 1837 by S. Fairburn 10 Fetter Lane. 29 cm x 24 cm. Unframed, but the original frame gave the presentation a shadow-box depth of a few centimeters. A tinsel print mounted in a finished watercolor landscape depicting Sarah Egerton as Helen Macgregor in Rob Roy. A hand-colored etching based on Isaac Pocock’s operatic drama, Rob Roy Macgregor, or Auld Land Syne, based on Walter Scott’s novel, Rob Roy 1817. The etched figure of Mrs. Egerton in ink on paper was first cut out in silhouette, then treated as part of a collage, dressed in fine silk fabric, then pasted onto Whatman watercolour board. The stationer, George Rowney & Company, identified, with his label, the mounting board as Carton Whatman Contrecollé, “Not” Surface (grain fin). After being mounted and painted into the watercolour landscape, the figure of Mrs. Egerton was embellished elaborately with fragments of metal. The original frame had loosened and some of the tinsel embellishments had come unstuck at the time of unframing. All loose metallic embellishments have been preserved and are sold with the print. There is a slight acidic discoloration from the wooden frame around the edges of the heavy Whatman board. This tinsel print is rightly considered to be an original work of art.
An adult pastime of 1830s London, memorialization of theatrical personalities for their memorable theatre performances in a signature role was elevated in this example to a high level of amateur collage painting on paper, with an inked etching mounted into a watercolor landscape. It could be called a foil etching with expert hand-coloring. One other exemplar was found at the Victoria and Albert Museum, VA S.724-1981.
The Baronage of Scotland Containing an Historical and Genealogical Account of the Gentry of That Kingdom Collected from the Public Records and Chartularies of This Country; the Records and Private Writings of Families by Sir Robert Douglas 1798
Landscape Historical Illustrations of Scotland and the Waverly Novels From Drawings from J M W Turner Professor RA Balmer Bentley Chisholm Hart ARA Harding McClise ABA Melville &c &c Comic Illustrations by G Cruikshank Descriptions by the Rev G N Wright MA &c 1836-38