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.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.
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.