London: 1740. Unbound.
1 leaf, with a large elaborate vignette to head illustrating the song with music and text below set for German flute etc. With separate part for flute. Signed in the plate by the engraver, G. Bickham jun. 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; inner edge frayed; some dampstaining.
From the second edition of Bickham's monumental work, first published in 1737-1739. BUC p. 107. RISM BII p. 245.
The noted castrato Senesino, who collaborated with Handel, left the London stage in 1736, returning to Italy. This caused much distress, particularly amongst the ladies, as the present engraving illustrates. The print also depicts two men carrying a box containing bags of money and musical scores, the box labeled "Ready Money." A humorous and topical song, with text concluding:
"My sweet Senesino for whom thus I cry,
Is sweeter than all the wing'd Songsters that fly.
Adieu Farinelli, Cuzzoni, Likewise,
Whom stars, and whom Garters, extol to the skies,
Adieu to the Opera, adieu to the Ball,
My darling is gone, and a fig for them all."
"[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.
Price: $200.00 other currencies