James Christie (1730-1803) was the founder of Christie’s International in London, an auction house which flourishes today with venues around the world. Christie befriended the prominent artists and craftspeople of his day, including Thomas Gainsborough, Sir Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Chippendale, and the auction house became a gathering place for collectors, dealers and fashionable society. Christie was entrusted with auctioning the contents of Sir Joshua Reynolds’ studio and the estate of Sir Robert Walpole, and sold Madame du Barry’s jewels. After he died in 1803, his son, also named James Christie, took over the firm.
Hannah Humphrey (c. 1745-1830) was a publisher and printseller based in London. She was the younger sister of the printseller William Humphrey and possibly learned the trade from him. Unusually independent for her time, she opened her own print shop in London. She never married, but had a close relationship with the political cartoonist James Gillray, publishing most of his prints and housing him in an apartment above her shop from 1791 on. She was among the most successful printsellers in the city, in part because Gillray’s work was tremendously popular.
Full publication information: Pub’d Jan’y 1st, 1782 by H. Humphrey No. 18 New Bond Street.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning and wear. Not examined out of frame.
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McGuirk, Caitlin. “Women’s History Month: Hannah Humphrey, fl. 1745-1818.” Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Ohio State University Libraries. 20 March 2012. http://library.osu.edu/blogs/cartoons/2012/03/20/womens-history-month-hannah-humphrey-fl-1745-1818/ (27 June 2015).