Thomas McLean Publisher

  Every once in a while, I come across a set of items which are related somehow.  The set of 6 prints which I acquired the other day were published by #ThomasMcLean (1788-1875).  McLean was a London based printseller and publisher of cartoons – political and caricatures.

Goes to a Picture Sale published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

Goes to a Picture Sale
published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

Sees a Water Kelpy published by Thomas McLean @1821

Sees a Water Kelpy
published by Thomas McLean @1821

Thomas McLean issued hundreds of cartoons in several journals of the day.  The six, I acquired, are all dated May 1821.  They are most likely related to stories in a publication or an event which had occurred as with ‘Goes to a Picture Sale’.  McLean’s premises was located on Haymarket and he was a respected dealer of art and print.  Often displaying paintings from which etchings would then be taken and sold.  Most artists made their living not from the sale of their original artworks but from the etchings and engravings taken from them.  For it was the prints which would sell affordably by the hundreds and possibly thousands to the public which would be the artist sustenance.  McLean annually held exhibitions for watercolour as well as oil paintings.  He was also a great supporter of young artists worthy of exposure but not yet known.

Fetching the Midwife published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

Fetching the Midwife
published by Thomas McLean @ 1821


Dressing the Young Squire published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

Dressing the Young Squire published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

Such artists as Robert Seymour, James Gillray, Jon Doyle and others plied their trade under McLean.  The final four prints might actually be grouped in pairs for they may be related storywise but that is only supposition.  None of the plates are signed by the artist.  So I cannot tell you who drew them but certainly 5 of the six (to my eye) are by the same hand.

Takes Lessons in Dancing published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

Takes Lessons in Dancing published by Thomas McLean @ 1821


A Cheerful Dance published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

A Cheerful Dance published by Thomas McLean @ 1821

 

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One Response to Thomas McLean Publisher

  1. dyingclown says:

    Hi – Delighted to see that you have posted about McLean! I am the author of the novel Death and Mr Pickwick, which was published by Random House in 2015, and which tells the story behind the creation of Dickens’s first novel The Pickwick Papers – and Thomas McLean actually features as a character. (As do Robert Seymour and James Gillray. Indeed Seymour is the novel’s main character.) There is a very active facebook page for Death and Mr Pickwick, and McLean is mentioned quite often there. For instance, he is mentioned in this post: https://www.facebook.com/deathandmrpickwick/posts/1036050859862099 Best wishes Stephen

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