HIMELY, Sigismond (engraver) - After Newton FIELDING (1797-1856)
Study Fen Shooting
Paris: Tessari et Cie.. circa 1822. Original copper printing plate, engraved and aquatinted by Himely, after Fielding, impressed plate manufacturer's name "Juery / R. St.Jacques No. 43 / à Paris" on verso of plate. Plate size: 11 5/16 x 15 3/8 inches; image: 8 3/8 x 11 3/4 inches. WIth impression of print on paper.
A very rare original printing plate: a hunting scene from the early 19th century.
An evocative view of a duck-hunt on the Lincolnshire fens: two hunters shoot at a small flock of duck that have foresaken the relative safety of the reeds. Three gun dogs prepare to swim after any birds that are brought down. Pollarded willows line the walkway that leads off into the mist of the autumn morning. The plate is signed in the plate "Himely d'apres Fielding, 22," titled (in English and French) "Étude Chasse aux Marais" and "Study Fen Shooting" and includes the imprint "Fielding del. Himely sculp.," "No. 3," "De l'Imprimerie de Finot," "A Paris chez Tessari et Cie. rue du Cloûre Notre Dame No. 4," "Déposé."
This appears to one of the original printing plates from an untitled series of between 20 and 25 plates published in about 1840. All the plates in this series of hunting and fishing views are by Himely after Fielding. Himely was an engraver of the highest order, best known for plates he did for Karl Bodmer and Antoine Garneray.
"The youngest of the Fielding brothers, Newton divided his life between London and Paris, marrying a French woman in 1833. He arrived in Paris in late 1821 or early 1822 and worked with his brother Thales for the publisher J. F. d'Ostervald. He acquired a considerable reputation for small-scale, brightly coloured and delicately worked watercolours of animals and birds in landscape. While this genre was very much his own invention, it owed much to the sporting tradition of the Alken family (much admired in France), to natural history in the manner of Thomas Bewick and to the literary tradition of Aesop and La Fontaine...His work became well known through his lithographed albums...He enjoyed the friendship of Delacroix and the dealer Charles Schroth and in 1827 was employed as drawing-master to the family of King Louis-Philippe".
Cf. Siltzer p.331; cf. Schwerdt I, p.173.