Original mezzotint engraving by Michael Jackson of Dawson performing her famous hornpipe dance. After a painting by an unknown artist held by the Garrick Club in London.

London: Printed for Robt. Sayer, [ca. 1760]. 355 x 252 mm. A very good impression, with thread margins.

Slightly soiled and stained. Laid down to contemporary paper mount at corners of verso.

Dance Perspectives no. 26, p. 23. NYPL: b12160091 (a variant [?]later version). Chaloner Smith: British Mezzotinto Portraits Part II, p. 717, no. 2 (the second of four versions).

"On 22 May 1758 [Dawson] was billed for dancing a hornpipe... During the following season at Covent Garden Nancy remained an obscure chorus dancer in productions of The Prophetess and other pieces. On 16 May 1759 when she shared a benefit with Mrs Jansolien and Miss Dulies she danced a hornpipe at the end of The Spanish Fryar. Early in the next season Mr Miles, who danced the hornpipe in the thieves' dance of The Beggar's Opera, fell ill and presented Nancy with the opportunity all young performers dream about. Her name replaced Miles's in the bill for 12 October 1759 - "by Desire, a Hornpipe by Miss Dawson - and from that moment her professional reputation was assured. Within days she became 'vastly celebrated, imitated, and followed by everyone,' and appeared regularly throughout the season in her specialty act. Although Nancy's dancing has usually been credited for the long and crowded run of The Beggar's Opera that season at Covent Garden, more likely the performance of Charlotte Brent (later Mrs Pinto) in the role of Polly was the real drawing card. But the combinatin of Nancy and Miss Brent hurt the rival theatre and supposedly made Garrick turn serious thoughts to the idea of a continental vacation." Highfill et al., Vol. 4, p. 238. Item #29654

Price: $450.00  other currencies

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