Fairburn, S. Mr. Macready as Rob Roy Macgregor. Pub[lishe]d As the Act directs, Sept. 11, 1837, by S. Fairburn, 40 Fetter Lane, London. 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 William Charles Macready (1793 – 1873) as Rob Roy. A hand-colored etching based on Isaac Pocock’s operatic drama, Rob Roy Macgregor, or Auld Land Syne, opened in Covent Garden March 12, 1818, and ran for thirty-four memorable performances. The melodramatic theatrical adaptation was based on Walter Scott’s novel, Rob Roy 1817.
The etched figure of Mr. Macready in ink on paper was first cut out in silhouette, then treated as part of a collage, dressed in fine fabric, then pasted onto Whatman watercolour board. After being mounted and painted into the watercolour landscape, the figure of Mr. Macready was embellished elaborately with fragments of metal. 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 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.
SIMON FRASER Signed Copy of The Airs and Melodies Peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and The Isles Communicated in an Original Pleasing & Familiar Style Having the Lively Airs Introduced as Medleys to Form a Sequence to Each Slower Movement With an Admired Plain Harmony for the Piano Forte Harp Organ or Violoncello Intended rather to preserve Simplicity than load with Embellishments Edited by Capt S Fraser Chiefly acquired during the Interesting Period from 1715 to 1745 through the Authentic Source narrated in the Accompanying Prospectus