Hogarth, William (1697 London 1764). The Weighing House. Showing in curious representation of nine persons in a half circle between ground and weighing beam the intellectual weight between dumbness and foolishness. In the background behind a wall a manor. Engraving Thomas Cook (c. 1744 – London 1818). Inscribed: To face Page 25, Vol. I. Physiognomy. / Hogarth pinxt. / T. Cook sculpt. / Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, & Orme, Jany. 1st. 1809., otherwise as above and below resp. 5⅝ × 7 in (14.4 × 17.7 cm).

William Hogarth, Weighing House (Cook small)

“ A. absolute Gravity. B. Conatus against absolute Gravity. C. partial Gravity. D. comparative Gravity. E. horizontal, or good Sence. F. Wit. G. comparative Levity, or Coxcomb. H. partial Levity, or pert Fool. I. absolute Levity, or Stark Fool. ”

Designed as illustration to “Physiognomy; being a Sketch of a larger Work upon the same Plan; wherein the different tempers, passions and manners of men, will be particularly considered”, a humorous pamphlet published in 1763 by Rev. Clubbe, Rector of Whatfield and Vicar of Debenham, who in return inscribed this by a comprehensive dedication to Hogarth, considering the many aspects of his work.

Of special charm the certain differences of namely the manor in the background compared with Hogarth’s own print. But also generally far more painterly and besides in reverse. – 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. Here, however, present in Cook’s popular smaller, later version. – Trimmed within the wide white platemark.

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