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William Hogarth:
Plates, Pirates,
& Publishers

Editions Overview

Lifetime Editions
J. Hogarth Editions
Boydell Editions
Baldwin, Cradock
& Joy Editions

Comparing the
Later Editions:
Four Prints
of an Election

Plate I
Plate II
Plate III
Plate IV

Piracies & Copies
After Hogarth

Tim Bobbin:
Human Passions

James Gillray

The Golden Age
of the English

Books on
British Caricature

Books on
William Hogarth

Books on
James Gillray

© Great Caricatures

In Development  •  In Development  •  In Development




Editions Overview




Paper Types


1720 - 1764 William Hogarth

The Bruiser
3rd state, Lifetime Edition
August 1763

— Folios
— Sets of Prints
— Individual Prints

Heavy French laid paper and light French laid paper (for shilling prints)

Subscribers editions
Subscription Tickets


Studio Description

Pirated editions

Copyright Act of 1735

Multiple print states

Upon his death in 1764, Hogarth's wife Jane inherited the plates.

1764 - 1789 Jane Hogarth

Lifetime Edition
December 15, 1736

— Folios
— Sets of Prints
— Individual Prints

Heavy French laid paper and wove paper (primarily used for smaller prints)

Accused of having plates retouched.

Withheld Before and After.

Upon Jane's death in 1789, the plates passed to her cousin Mary Lewis who sold them to the publisher John Boydell for a lifetime annuity of 250 pounds.

1789 - 1818 John & Josiah Boydell

William Hogarth
Engraved for
Boydell by
Benjamin Smith
June 1, 1795
after "The Painter
and His Pug"
painted in 1745

— 1790 Folio
(103 plates)
— 1794 Folio
(107 plates)
—1795 Folio
(110 plates)
— 1802 Folio
(title page dated
1790 but sheets
have 1802
— Sets of prints

Sheets of laid paper inherited from Jane Hogarth; Variety of Laid papers; Wove paper with Whatman watermark; Wove paper without watermark.

Many editions have a smoky appearance, such as this print of Southwark Fair.

The Boydells commissioned new plates engraved after Hogarth's paintings, such as Taste in High Life.

French Revolution (and loss of European market) forces Boydell to close gallery.

The plates were bought by Baldwin, Cradock and Joy at the Boydell sale in 1818.

1818 - 1835 Baldwin, Cradock & Joy

Heath Edition
Originally Published
June 1738

— 1820 Folio issued in parts.
— 1822 Folio (Heath Edition)
— Three editions of the Folio published between 1828 - 1840.

Whatman Turkey Mill wove paper.

Original plates restored by James Heath for the 1822 edition.

1835 - 1864 Henry Bohn

The Bathos
Late Edition
Originally Published
March 3, 1764


Wove paper.

Plates repaired by Radcliff of Birmingham.

Around 1864 Henry Bohn sold the sheets and plates to Chatto and Windus.

1864 - ? Chatto and Windus / Bernard Quaritch

Chatto and Windus sold Hogarth's plates to Bernard Quaritch.

In 1898 150 plates were put up for sale but did not reach their reserve and were bought in. Many of the plates were donated by Quaritch to the British Government during the First World War to be melted down for copper for bombs.


Assistance provided by

Vladislav Ruchkin, New Haven, CT
Fred Tempereau, San Diego, CA

Additional Sources

Ronald Paulson, Hogarth's Graphic Works, Third Revised Edition, The Print Room, London, 1989

Richard Vogler, Reading Hogarth, Introduction to Catalogue Exhibition, Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Wight Art Gallery, UCLA, 1988

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