This charming and scarce boxing engraving was produced in England during the 19th century, circa 1810. This original 19th century engraving was engraved by Percy Roberts. Percy Roberts was a boxing engraver who was active during the early 19th century.
Although the gentleman in the print is seen wearing boxing gloves he would have actually have been a bare knuckle fighter. The gloves were worn only for sparring purposes. Prints depicting bare knuckle fighters are rare and are sought after by collectors, particularly one with such an interesting and detailed background. On the wall behind the fighter we see a series of boxing prints depicting bare knuckle fights and also a horse race.
The boxer depicted is John Jackson (born 28th September 1769 – died 7th October 1845) who was a celebrated English pugilist of the late 18th century. "Gentleman Jackson" stood 5'11" and weighed 195 pounds. Jackson won the title "Champion of England" in a fight on April 15, 1795 in which he beat Daniel Mendoza. After this he created a boxing academy for gentlemen at 13 Bond Street, London. Jackson's Saloon was popular with the nobility and gentry. Lord Byron relates in his diary that he 'regularly received instruction in boxing from Jackson'. The backdrop of this fascinating saloon is depicted in our engraving. The engraving is housed behind a protective transparent encasing in an attractive dark mount.
Please see museum number 1851,0308.368 in the British Museum’s online collection for a similar depiction of John Jackson.
This print was published by Sherwood & Co. on March 1st, 1828. Please see the engraving titled ‘Art of Self Defence’ by Isaac Robert Cruikshank and George Cruikshank 1821 which depicts Jackson’s saloon.
Measuring: Mounting width 21 cm by height 30 cm. Aperture width 15 cm by height 24 cm.
Condition: Light surface toning commensurate with age, the print has been left entirely untrimmed.
This is a decorative item with a fascinating history. This handsome piece will display excellently in a study or club or with other elegant antiques. This is a uncommon opportunity to own such an interesting item, and an intriguing conversation piece.