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George Armstrong 1820 Engraving of Newcastle Eccentrics - Sold
George Armstrong 1820 Engraving of Newcastle Eccentrics - Sold

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Product Code: PRIN17

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George Armstrong 1820 Engraving of Eccentric Characters of Newcastle-upon-Tyne after Henry Parker - Sold

This is a very scarce engraving by George Armstrong, published circa1820, of eccentric characters of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It is after painting by Henry Parker and was published by E Charnley, Newcastle.

In or around 1817 the painter, Henry Parker, painted his famous picture of Newcastle Eccentrics and characters. The painting is sometimes known as 'Hells Kitchen' and shows 14 people (and a dog), living in the area at the time. This was the nickname of a room in The Flying Horse pub in the Groat Market, off Collingwood Street, Newcastle, which was the setting for the painting. It was a down market drinking house who’s clientele allegedly included Blind Willy, the fiddler, Captain Starkey, Aad Judy, Cull Billy, Bold Archie, Bugle Nosed Jack, Doodem Daddum and Shoe-Tie Anty. It was also reputed that the cellar contained a trap door to a hidden tunnel to the Quayside.

Unfortunately the oil painting was lost, but fortunately George Armstrong, a Newcastle engraver, made a copy which was published around 1820 by E. Charnley, a bookseller in the Bigg Market. At the time, it was engraved with permission from the picture in the possession of Chas. John Brandling Esqr. M.P. An index provided with the engraving reveals the identities of the eccentric characters, many of whom were the subject of local songwriters. The list of the characters, (in alphabetical order) is :- Aud (or Awd) Judy, Blind Willie, Bold Archy (or Airchy), Bugle-Nosed Jack, Captain Starkey, Cull (or Cully) Billy, Donald, Doodem Daddum (with his Dog, Timour, added), Hangy (or Hangie), Jacky Coxon, Jenny Ballo, Pussy Willy, Shoe-tie Anty and Whin Bob.

The print is framed in a wonderful original carved frame which includes the arms of Newcastle. There has been some damage to the top of the coat of arms, but the frame is otherwise in good condition for its age.

Engraver: George Armstrong
Artist: Henry Parker
Subject: Newcastle Eccentrics
Publisher: E Charnley, Newcastle
Date: 1820
Dimensions of the framed print (approx):
930mm x 850mm
Condition: Good condition for age, there is some age toning, some minor scratches to the print and a small amount of damage to the coat of arms on the frame - see photographs for detailed condition.

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