John Kay 6. .

John Kay 6



The miniature-painter and caricaturist John Kay was born near Dalkeith, Midlothian, in April 1742. The son of a mason, he was apprenticed at the age of thirteen to George Heriot, a barber in Dalkeith. Six years later, he moved to Edinburgh where he continued to work as a journeyman barber. In 1771 he was enrolled a member of the Society of Surgeon-Barbers and set up in business on his own account. In his spare time, however, he began to produce highly original portrait sketches and caricatures of Edinburgh characters, despite having received no formal training in drawing. He attracted the patronage of William Nisbet of Dirleton, who settled an annuity upon him, and in 1785 was finally able to give up his trade for art. Kay opened a shop in Parliament Close where he sold his etchings. From 1784 to 1822 he is calculated to have etched nearly nine hundred plates portraying many of the most notable Scotsmen of the day   Many of Kay's more satirical prints were bought by his subjects themselves with the express purpose of destroying them. On at least one occasion, he was 'cudgelled' and, on another, unsuccessfully prosecuted. In 1792 he decided to publish some of his work in book form and prepared a brief biographical sketch which supplies most of the few details that are known of his life. The project, however, remained unrealized, and it was not until after his death that a collection of 340 of his etchings was published in 1837-38. Kay contributed portraits to the annual exhibitions of the Edinburgh Associated Artists from 1811 to 1816, and to the 1822 exhibition of the Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland. He died in Edinburgh on 21 February 1826.
Editions :- Kay  was aided, it is said, by James Thomson Callender, who compiled some descriptive letterpress, including a slight autobiographical sketch, but the work was unfinished at the time of Kay's death. In 1837-8 a quarto edition of his plates, under the title 'A series of original portraits and caricature etchings by the late John Kay, miniature painter, Edinburgh,' was published in monthly numbers by Hugh Paton of Edinburgh. A second edition, in four volumes, was issued in 1842 by the same publishers. The plates then passed into the hands of A. and C. Black of Edinburgh, who had them retouched, and in 1877 published a third edition in two volumes, after which the plates  were destroyed. A 'popular letterpress edition', in two volumes, which very inadequately reproduced the more interesting plates, and reprinted only a portion of the letterpress, was published in London and Glasgow in 1855 but is easily identified as the paper is much cheaper not rag paper .This posthumous collection of Kay's caricatures was immensely popular and led to a second, four-volume, edition being printed in 1842 ( same thing split into four parts to look larger !) . Kay's portraits of Adam Smith are considered 'the only authentic likenesses that exist of the great economist' These etchings are priced from the 1838 booklet but may be earlier I have a few which seem to be proof to India paper of the 1838 as similar to the Neale of that time but a proof edition is not mentioned  **The size for the image ranges from A4 down to small miniatures. .. all are shown at the same image size so if exact sizing is needed please ask as listing each individually will take forever** Due to them being a pain to identify as he did not number all the site will now have them all with pics and for sale buttons where available page 5 252-343


Engravings not itemised within the two Paton Books


A mess a work in progress for this week ! need coffee


This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £12b


An original antique  bookplate  from 'A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay, miniature painter, Edinburgh'. Published by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838; Carver and Gilder To her Majesty Queen Victoria. £10 b x2


This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £12 r









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LORD HENRY BROUGHAM Lord Chancellor of Britain  338
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size. £10 b + 1r



EDINBURGH Woman Who Minded Her Own Affairs - 341
An original antique  bookplate  from 'A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay, miniature painter, Edinburgh'. Published by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838; Carver and Gilder To her Majesty Queen Victoria. £12 r



ALLAN MaCONOCHIE ALLAN MaCONOCHIE George Pratt and a Fool 343
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15  r

Witch of Endor 352
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15 mk in margin x 2



 ISOBEL TAYLOR Born Crieff 1713 died Edinburgh 1818
An original antique  bookplate  from 'A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay, miniature painter, Edinburgh'. Published by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838; Carver and Gilder To her Majesty Queen Victoria. £15 r

King Queen Dauphin 6

This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size . £12r


The Late Emperor Paul 3

This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size . £12r




Convention of Asses; or Spirit of Democracy.
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size  . £15r

Lawyer + Client  Reverse Heads



Reverse Heads (Lord Monboddo)



John Kay Self portrait Miniature
An original antique  bookplate  from 'A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay, miniature painter, Edinburgh'. Published by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838; Carver and Gilder To her Majesty Queen Victoria. £8r


William Wallace  25


An original antique  bookplate  from 'A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay, miniature painter, Edinburgh'. Published by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838; Carver and Gilder To her Majesty Queen Victoria. £15 r 


 Thomas Hardy Secretary of the London Corresponding Society acquitted 1794 for treason  360
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15 mucky page light foxing would wash


ROBERT DUNDAS of Arniston; Lord Advocate of Scotland
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15

TWO SHADOWS in Conversation; Kames & Arnot
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15



CHARLES II Statue in Parliament Sq, Edinburgh
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £18r


BEGGARS FEAST after Ostade

His Majesty GEORGE III
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15

Mary Queen of Scotland



Lady 
This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £15

The Fiddler of Glenbirnie



This is an antique bookplate either   from A Series of Original Portraits and Caricature Etchings by the late John Kay.  That was published  by Hugh Paton, Edinburgh 1838;  or one of the earlier editions  of loose plates on rag paper  size of page 275 ×211 mm with the engravings varying in size £18

Knox





related links

John Kay of Edinburgh Page 1

John Kay of Edinburgh Page 2

John Kay of Edinburgh Page 3

John Kay of Edinburgh Page 4 

John Kay of Edinburgh Page 5

John Kay of Edinburgh Page 6


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