Louis-Marin Bonnet

The Mariage Presents (Hérold, p. 167, no. 305)

chalk-manner etching with engraving printed in colours (black, brown, blue, green, gold, two shades of red and yellow), 1774, a proof before title and address, a very fine impression, the colours fresh, published by Bonnet, Paris, 1774, trimmed inside the platemark, the upper right corner made-up (just affecting the tip of the subject), a short repaired tear below the lower right corner of the subject, some thin spots and a few pinholes at the sheet edges, slight discolouration in the lower title space, surface dirt on the reverse
S. 318 x 244 mm.

Lot Essay

The Marriage Presents is one of ten Estampes Angloises printed in colours with printed gold frames. Due to the fact that the sale and use of gold leaf was subject to strict regulations in France Bonnet inscribed the prints with the fictitious L. Marin and incorporated the address of F. Vivares in London to create the illusion that the prints had been executed and published in London prior to being imported to France for sale at Bonnet's premises in 1774. Many of the English titles for these prints are misspelt, perhaps intentionally as part of Bonnet's light-hearted deception. Competition among the colour printers of the time was intense enough for Bonnet to fear that Janinet might be accredited with the innovation of printing with gold and prompted him to drop the veil of deception in 1776 and to claim the honour of having invented the technique of printing with gold by openly testifying to the fact in his publication of a suite of six gold-bordered Têtes after designs by Thomas Leclerc.

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