A.L.s. to Mr. Cumberland.

A.L.s. to Mr. Cumberland.
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No place (but London?): no date (ca. 1820?). 2 pp., small 4to, written in brown ink on one side and addressed on the other with a watercolor drawing by Cruikshank. A tantalizing letter: addressed only to “Mr. Cumberland,” it is tempting to hope it might be George Cumberland, especially because the letter mentions a “Mr. B,” who one would like to think might be Blake but is probably Bewick. The letter reads (in part): “If convenient please to send me the dust . . . have you any command please to write a few lines . . . will you request Mr. B to send me some word I have sent to him but have only one block back.” Boldly signed “R Ck.” On the verso is written “Mr. Cumberland” beside a charming watercolor of an exceptionally portly gentleman in a hat and an exceptionally skinny figure doffing his hat (perhaps the artist importuning his patron?). A search of Blake Records failed to locate a single reference to Robert Cruikshank but, of course, hundreds to Cumberland. A more likely possibility is John Cumberland, the publisher whose Cumberland’s Minor Theatre was illustrated by Cruikshank. (Item Id: 5360)

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