Hope - Stipple Engraving - After Sir Joshua Reynolds P.R.A. by Josiah Boydell. One of a series of 4 - Justice; Prudence; Hope; and Temperance.
This is HOPE.
This rare and highly collectable engraving after Sir Joshua Reynolds is over 200 years old (1781). A little torn and worn around its edges. The main subject of a beautiful lady is intact; incredibly and thankfully virtually unscathed by time.
The etching was drawn & published by Josiah Boydell and engraved by G.S. & J.G.FACIUS 1781 - (George Sigmund Facius & Johann Gottlieb Facius of Cheapside - London).
I am unable to find any other examples of this engraving other than that held by The British Museum and others in the series by The National Trust. "Justice" one of the series sold at Christie's in 2006 above estimate and realised £780. A reflection on the rarity, beauty and condition of this engraving is seen in the price.
Excerpt of description & inscription as listed in The British Museum collection.
"HOPE - A female allegorical figure standing whole-length on a ledge, seen from the back with head in profile and both arms raised to a ray of light coming from the upper left corner, part of an anchor seen in the left foreground; after Reynolds from the New College Window, Oxford (Mannings 2119). 1781. Stipple and etching.
Lettered with title and dedication to John Oglander by the publisher around arms, with production detail: "Painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds/Drawn by Josiah Boydell", "Engrav'd by G.S. & J.G. Facius", and publication line: "Publish'd Novr. 1. 1781 by John Boydell, Engraver in Cheapside London"; numbered in pencil lower left corner, 49."