BARLOW, Francis (died 1704). A Sett of Prints of Hunting, Hawking, & Fishing. [London: after 1671].

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BARLOW, Francis (died 1704). A Sett of Prints of Hunting, Hawking, & Fishing. [London: after 1671].


Oblong folio (8 7/8 x 13 inches). EXCEPTIONALLY FINE engraved pictorial title-page, and two series of 6 numbered engraved plates by Wenceslas Hollar and Gaywood after Barlow, four signed in the plate by Hollar, each with an engraved heading and explanatory quatrain. FINE modern calf antique, gilt, all edges gilt.

Provenance: with a modern library label in hieroglyphics on the front free endpaper


AN ATTRACTIVE EXAMPLE OF A RARE SERIES OF EARLY SPORTING ENGRAVINGS, previously published under the title Severall Ways of Hunting, Hawking and Fishing, in 1671. The superb engravings illustrate elaborate and dramatic scenes of: "Stagg Hunting," "Coursing Fallow Deere", "Partridge Hawking," "Otter Hunting", "River Fishing", "Angling," "River Fishing," "Hare Hunting", "Cony Catching", "Fox Hunting", "Feasant Hawking", "Hern Hawking", and "Salmon Fishing." 

Barlow was "apprenticed in London to the portrait painter William Shepherd. His earliest dated work is a drawing of 1648 depicting David slaying the lion (British Museum). He was made free of the Painter–Stainers' Company on 4 March 1650.

"In 1653 Richard Symons recorded a conversation with Barlow about the colours used in portraits, landscapes, and natural history paintings; at the time he was living near The Drum in Drury Lane and charging £8 for a painting of fish. On 19 February 1656 John Evelyn recorded in his diary that he had visited Barlow, and referred to him as ‘the famous Paynter of fowle Beastes & Birds’ (Evelyn, 3.166–7). Surviving paintings of natural history subjects include six large oils at Clandon Park, Surrey (originally painted for Denzil Onslow at Pyrford Manor, Surrey), and a pair of overdoors of 1673 at Ham House, Surrey, painted for the duke of Lauderdale. Portraits in oil of General Monck (which Barlow also etched) and an unknown boy with a groom are in the Tyrwhitt–Drake collection.

"In the 1650s and early 1660s, and between 1685 and 1694, Barlow designed sets of natural history plates, which were etched by Wenceslaus Hollar, Richard Gaywood, Jan Griffier, and Francis Place. These prints continued to be published well into the following century and were an important source for artists and craftsmen of succeeding generations. Barlow's finest etchings are the plates for Edward Benlowes's Theophila (1652) and for an edition of Aesop's Fables which he published himself in 1666 (a second edition with additional plates, bringing the total to 143, appeared in 1687). There are preliminary drawings in the British Museum. Barlow's address was given on the original title-page of Aesop's Fables, dated 1665, as ‘the Golden Eagle in New-Street, near Shoo-lane’; the house was burnt in the great fire but the copper plates for the volume survived.

"Barlow's propaganda prints supporting the whig cause during the Popish Plot of 1679 and afterwards were among the earliest satirical prints published in England. They included a very popular series of playing cards illustrating events from the time of the Rump Parliament (1648–53) to the alleged Warming Pan Plot of 1688; preliminary drawings are held in the British Museum. According to Vertue, Barlow was left a considerable sum by a friend but died poor in 1704. He was buried at St Margaret's, Westminster, on 11 August 1704" (Sheila O'Connell for DNB). cf. Schwerdt I, p.52; cf. Harting 33; Westwood & Satchell p.23. 


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