The Midsummer Wish. Set by Mr. Carey. Plate 20 from George Bickham's The Musical Entertainer. Henry CAREY.

The Midsummer Wish. Set by Mr. Carey. Plate 20 from George Bickham's The Musical Entertainer.

London: 1740. Unbound.

1 leaf, with a large elaborate vignette to head and two smaller engravings to the foot illustrating the song with music and text between set for voice and figured bass with a separate part for flute. Signed in the plate by the engraver, Bickham. Ca. 326 x 200 mm. (12.75" x 7.85") [plate mark]; ca. 392 x 247 mm. (15.45" x 9.75") [sheet size].

Slightly worn; minor browning to edges; minor soiling and dampstaining; edges slightly chipped; some creasing.

Very Good.

From the second edition of Bickham's monumental work, first published in 1737-1739. BUC p. 107. RISM BII p. 245.

An English composer and librettist, Carey's "literary and stage works are of particular interest to music historians as providing satirical commentary on the craze for Italian opera and its singers in fashionable society." Norman Gillespie in Grove Music Online.

"[Bickham ?1706-1771] was principally famous in music circles for his two illustrated folio volumes The Musical Entertainer, first issued in fortnightly parts, each containing four plates, from January 1737 to December 1739. The 200 plates are songs, headed and surrounded with pictorial embellishments illustrative of the song ..., and engraved in the style of and even copied directly from Gravelot and Watteau. This work was the first of its kind to be published in England and quickly produced imitators such as Lampe’s British Melody, engraved by Benjamin Cole." Frank Kidson et al. in Grove Music Online.

A charming engraving.

The Musical Entertainer is considered one of the finest 18th century illustrated books. Complete copies of this monumental work are exceptionally rare.

Item #36708

Price: $90.00  other currencies

See all items in Art & Photographs
See all items by