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Friday 20 January 2023

Valentine Green’s mezzotint, “Dobson's Father”, after William Dobson

Valentine Green (1739–1813)

“Dobson's Father”, 1776, from the series, “Houghton Gallery”, after the design by the intermediate draughtsman, George Farington (1752–1788) after a painting by William Dobson (1611–1646), published in London by John Boydell (1719–1804).

Note that the lettered title to this print is incorrect. The portrayed subject of the portrait by William Dobson is Abraham van der Doort (c1575/1580?–1640) in the Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia); see

Mezzotint printed in brown ink on fine laid paper.

Size: (sheet) 18 x 12.5 cm; (plate) 14.9 x 10.1 cm.

Lettered in plate below the image borderline: (left) “Dobson Pinxit./ G.Farington delt.”; (centre) “DOBSON's [crest with moto “FARI QUAE SENTIAT”] Father/ In the Cabinet […] at Houghton/ Size of the Picture, […] F 1,, I3 by F1,, I 6 in height./ Published Septr, 30th, 1776 by John […] Boydell Engraver in Cheapside London.”; (right) “Val:Green fecit.”

Smith 38 (John Chaloner Smith 1878, “British mezzotinto portraits: being a descriptive catalogue of these engravings from the introduction of the art to the early part of the present century…”, vol. 3, London, H. Sotheran, pp. 549–50 [see])

Smith (1878) advises in his catalogue entry for this print that “[t]his print is said to be wrongly lettered, and really to represent Abraham Vanderdort, painter and medallist to James I” (p. 550).

The British Museum offers the following description of this print: “Portrait, head and shoulders, of an old man with loose, curling hair to his shoulders, and a plain white collar, three quarter to right, looking down to centre; after Dobson. 1776 Mezzotint” (

Condition: a strong impression with a replenished line where a curly hair was trapped in the ink. Beyond the printer’s error in leaving a hair on the inked plate (now restored as it had left a noticeable white line), the sheet is in a good condition with no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, significant stains or foxing.

I am selling this small jewel of a mezzotint for AU$274 (currently US$190.25/EUR175.45/GBP154.01 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world, but not (of course) any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries.

If you are interested in purchasing this very beautiful mezzotint, please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

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