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Image of Benefit Ticket

Benefit Ticket

  • Ticket for the benefit of Mr. Giardini, drawn by G.B. Cipriani,
    engraved by F. Bartolozzi
  • 116 x 119mm (4½ x 4¾in)

Francesco Bartolozzi (1727-1815) was a great and prolific engraver, the son of a goldsmith in Florence. In 1764 he arrived in England and appointed engraver to the King, George III, with a salary of 300 a year.

Artists like Bartolozzi devoted a good deal of time and effort to tickets chiefly for benefits and entertainments of a semi-charitable nature. One wonders how the various persons of distinction managed to pay a highly respected artist what must have been very high fees for their fine work.

The answer lies in a back issue of The Ephemerist, the society's journal, where Peter Jackson enlightens us through the Notes & Queries page:

The members of eighteenth-century clubs and societies were gentlemen of considerable means and they could well afford to pay the high prices charged by artists like Bartolozzi, whose payment averaged ten guineas a day. And he apparently worked very quickly, beginning a ticket in the morning and finishing it before he retired to rest.

However, according to Andrew Tuer's "Bartolozzi & His Work", he was seldom paid for these small jobs and he is known to have engraved twelve tickets for the Italian composer and violinist Giardini for nothing. Giardini was vain and foolish enough to suggest that Bartolozzi was indebted to him for his fame as an engraver; a piece of impertinence which Bartolozzi never forgave.

There exists a proof of a Giardini ticket which bears the imprint 'F. Bartolozzi sculp for the last-', presumably he was going to add 'time' but thought better of it. Certainly he engraved no more tickets for his ungrateful fellow-countryman.

The Ephemerist, No56 March 1987, page 192.



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