Astley’s Amphitheatre London 1808 original antique print


Original hand-coloured antique aquatint of the interior of Astley’s Emporium, located in Westminster Road, Lambeth, it was the ‘home’ of circus. Dated in the plate, 1808. Dimensions of the print from the plate mark are approx. 11×9 inches. A nice bright, clean example of Ackermann’s work. Print has full margins which are not captured by the scan. Small crease to margin bottom left (beyond plate mark) which will be covered by a mount. Note: The price shown is ex VAT.

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Astley’s Amphitheatre. Original aquatint antique print of Astley’s Amphitheatre, dated in the plate 1808, from Ackermann’s Repository of Arts.

Philip Astley (8 January 1742 – 27 January 1814) was an English equestrian, circus owner, and inventor, regarded as being the “father of the modern circus“. The circus industry, as a presenter of an integrated entertainment experience that includes music, domesticated animalsacrobats, and clowns, traces its heritage to Astley’s Amphitheatre, a riding school that Astley founded in London following the success of trick-riding displays given by him and his wife Patty Jones in 1768

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts was an illustrated British periodical published from 1809-1829.  Although commonly called Ackermann’s Repository, or simply Ackerman’s, the formal title of the journal was the “Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics.” This image was part of a monthly publication issued by Ackermann and often ‘bound’ afterwards into the form of a book. Ackermann’s images reflected the social mores of  Regency Georgian London illustrating the lives of both rich and poor.

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