Charles Knight stipple etching of 'The Smoaking Club'

Charles Knight  1743-1826
Fine stipple etching,
after an original drawing by
Henry William Bunbury
titled ‘The Smoaking Club’
circa 1795
Image size 450x340 mm,
close framed in dark oak with
muted gold slip 531x435 mm.

"An intriguing scene with elderly men gathered in a room. All are smoking long pipes with large clouds of smoke issuing from their mouths. Most look somewhat morose. Two standing men (left) appear to be puffing smoke in each other's faces while another leans back, apparently asleep.... but smoking. A man seated on the extreme right takes the hand of a pretty young woman. Has he just accepted a key from her or is he about to offer it to  her? She in the meanwhile is slipping a sealed note into the hand of a upright military officer who stands with his back to her." On the wall (right) is a placard reading:
'At a general meeting of this Society, it was resolv'd by a Majority of Independent members, that any member may be Indulg'd with having the Key brought him, by his Servant or hand-maid, but on no pretence whatever be followd by that bane of good fellowship calld the White Sergeant.'
(A man fetched from the tavern or alehouse by his wife, is said to be arrested by the White Serjeant.' Grose, 'Dict. Vulgar Tongue', 1796)
Above the door are framed Rules:
'Ist   No Gemman (Gentleman ?) to be a member of this Society who cannot smoke three pipes at one sitting -
        NB no Spitting
2d   No members pipe to be more than 14 Inches nor less than nine unless permitted so to do by the Landlady
3d   Every member to find his own Stopper
4th  Any member who puffs designedly in the face of another, to be find sixpence or be puff'd at in return
       by the whole company
5th All fines to be spent in Porter
                                                                   T. Twig Secy'

On the back wall is a large print of Sir Walter Raleigh seated smoking (right) while a servant raises a bucket to fling at the smoke.


Price: £160.00
Artist : 
Charles Knight
SKU: N05272