Print shows several fashionable men, dandies, riding on velocipedes, or bicycles without pedals, one man has a three-wheeled version with a platform and seat on the back, on which sits a woman. They are riding in the countryside on a roadway near a mile marker that states “London 2 Miles”.The forerunner of the bicycle, the ‘hobby’ or ‘dandy horse’ was invented by the German Baron Karl von Drais in France in 1817. It was introduced to England the following year by Denis Johnson, a coachmaker of Long Acre, London, who described it as a ‘Pedestrian Curricle’. Hobby horses had no pedals or brakes, but were propelled by the rider pushing on the ground with his feet, and dragging the feet to slow the machine. Johnson started a school where prospective purchasers could learn how to ride the machine and, in 1819, fashionable London society was briefly gripped by a craze for riding a hobby horse.
Made by Leadenhall Press after own design.
Medium: Line and aquatint etching with original hand colouring. on wove (vellin type paper.
Sheet size: 40 x 32.5 cm (15.75 x 12.8 inch). Image size: 31.5 x 26.5 cm. (12.4 x 10.43 inch).
Condition: good, given age. Image fine. Small surface damaga at bottom middle. Plate marks and margin a bit soiled. Ghosting emains of previous framing in margins. Margins a bit rubbed. Paper edges irregular with small tears. General age-related toning and/or occasional minor defects from handling. Please study scan carefully.
HOBBY HORSE-BICYCLE-SATIRE-LONDON-VELOCIPEDE | PCO-EXPO-74
Published in 1894 by The Leadenhall Press in London and Washington DC.
Biography engraver: Maker of this print unknown.