Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Book illustration: "A Tradesman's Wife & Daughter of Chili"

I found this illustration loose, among some other miscellaneous papers. The caption states: "A Tradesman's Wife & Daughter of Chili."

I was able to determine that is a plate from the book Letters from Buenos Ayres and Chili, with an Original History of the Latter Country, by John Constanse Davie. The book was originally published in London in 1819. So it's possible this plate is 195 years old. It's also possible this plate is from a subsequent printing of the book, and thus is not as old.

If you're interested, Google Books has made the book's entire contents, including the illustrations, available for free. If you prefer a hard copy, your best bet is probably a reprint. (Not all reprints, though, contain the original artwork.)

Here's a short excerpt, related to the above plate:
"The tradesmen's wives bear a proportionate appearance, but always, more or less, with some attention to ornament: they also derive no small attraction from the coquettish air with which they envelop the upper part of their figure."

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