[Organist] [Huet, Christophe. (1700–1759)]

"L'organist ambulant" - Original Engraving Plate

Rare and highly amusing 18th century copper engraving plate for an illustration depicting a monkey playing the organ strapped to the back of a fellow monkey on all fours shown blowing into a tube connected to the instrument, while a third monkey blows air up the walking monkey’s rear end with a bellows.  
A slightly varied form of this engraving appears in Huet's Antics of the Human Life, a collection of humorous and satirical drawings depicting monkeys performing human activities illustrated in 1741 and published in 1743 as a collection of 26 plates engraved by J. Guelard. The Itinerant Organist is the first plate.  The artist of the present plate is not identified but the plate is signed "F. Savin" and seems slightly larger than the ones used for the first publication, this being likely used for an unrecorded printing, possibly for standalone prints to be sold apart from the edition. In fine condition, 9 x 6.5 inches (23 x 16.5 cm.). See "The Monkeys of Christophe Huet: Singeries in French Decorative Arts," J. Paul Getty Museum, 2011; Inventaire du fonds francais, graveurs du 18e, XI, Guelard, 61-84. (18889)

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