William Hogarth, Large Masquerade Ticket

“ … those impure gatherings
organised by the notorious Heidegger ”

Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). (Large) Masquerade Ticket. Figure-rich scene at one of the masquerade balls organized by John James Heidegger. To the left in a niche the torso of Priapus whom at the altar below a “bishop” sacrifices the heart blood of the winged Saturn with scythe. On the altar small flame and several antlers, above the niche a ram’s skull with horns. Opposite under a pair of doves Venus, between her legs Eros aiming his arrow into the company. On the altar below blazing sacrificial fire. At the upper margin of the subject and still reaching half-way above this large clock with the hands “wit” and “Impertinence” showing half past one, while the pendulum swings “Nonsense”. Noon, however, represented by Heidegger’s portrait. Lying with their backs against the clock unicorn and lion, each holding its tail with the forelegs. Engraving. (1724.) Inscribed as above. 9⅛ × 12 in (23.1 × 30.4 cm).

Nagler 7. – Very fine impression on sturdy paper from the plate retouched by the royal engraver James Heath (1757 London 1834) about 1822 (“Even these impressions have become relatively rare today though”, Art Gallery Esslingen 1970; and Meyers Konv.-Lex., 4th ed., VIII [1888], 625: “A fine edition”, esteemed also already by contemporary collectors of the rank of for instance an A. T. Stewart [Catalog of the Stewart Collection, New York 1887, 1221, “fine plates”]). – Above trimmed within the platemark.

Born as Johann Jakob Heidegger (1659? – 1749) in Switzerland he came to England in 1708 where from 1710 on he arranged masquerade balls after Italian model in the Haymarket Theatre which became as soon popular with the fashionable society as notorious for their excess:

“ To the last-mentioned year (1728) is ascribed a poem entitled the ‘Masquerade. Inscribed to C—t H—d—g—r. By Lemuel Gulliver, Poet Laureate to the King of Lilliput.’ In this Fielding made his satirical contribution to the attacks on those impure gatherings organised by the notorious Heidegger, which Hogarth had not long before stigmatised pictorially in the plate known to collectors as the ‘large Masquerade Ticket.’ ”

(Austin Dobson, Fielding, 1883/1907).

What did not impair his popularity with high society though: Heidegger also took part in the organization of the 1727 coronation festivities for George II.

Offer no. 7,879 | EUR 91. (c. US$ 94.) + shipping

William Hogarth, Masquerade ticket (Cook klein)

– – – The same in Thomas Cook’s (c. 1744 – London 1818) popular later, smaller version. Engraving. Inscribed as above and below resp. Subject size 5 × 6¾ in (12.8 × 17.2 cm).

„ A. a sacrifice to Priapus. B. a pair of Lecherometers shewing ye Companys Inclinations as they approach em. Invented for the use of Ladys & Gentlemen by ye Ingenious Mr. H.......r “

Cook “made his mark as Hogarth engraver, too, whose complete work he has engraved in copy” (Thieme-Becker) and whose original format he maintained contrary to all later Hogarth editions in his first, earlier edition. For some sheets not published by Hogarth himself Cook became their first engraver, just as he also gained approval of a contemporary connoisseur as Maximilian Speck von Sternburg. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark weakly browned in the outer lateral and lower parts.

Offer no. 8,912 | EUR 49. (c. US$ 50.) + shipping

“ Received the 2 parcels yesterday in A. M. I am very pleased with the books as well as the condition of them. Thank you again … I hope we can do business again in the near future ”

(Mr. L. A. F., March 11 and 1 resp., 2001)