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Bartholomew Fair. Hand coloured etching and aquatint. Bartholomew Fair took place at Smithfield in the middle ages. In 1721 it was particularly noted for its dramatic performances and the dignitaries who attended among them: Sir Robert Walpole who is supposed to be the well dressed figure on the right of this scene. This etching is designed after a fan from the early part of the 18th century. It is a finely coloured example of a semicircular design produced for an antiquarian audience who were interested in the history of the manners and customs of London. The range of amuseuments, people and foodstuffs shown on offer at the Fair is varied. And the groups of people are shown engaged in drinking, courting, crying their wares, acting and watching the plays which are advertised by large pictorial hoardings.
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