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Maker(s):Darly, Mary; Darly, Matthew
Title:print: Oh Heigh Oh
Date Made:1776
Materials:engraving on laid paper with hand-coloring; wood, gilding, glass, paper, ink, watercolors
Place Made:United Kingdom; England; London
Measurements:Frame: 41.91 x 31.5913 x 1.905 cm; 16 1/2 x 12 7/16 x 3/4 in
Accession Number:  HD 56.029
Museum Collection:  Historic Deerfield

English hand-colored etching and engraving titled "OH - HEIGH - OH / OR A VIEW OF THE BACK SETTLEMENTS / Pub: July 9 1776 by MDarly 39 Strand." In the mid to late 18th century, certain publishers and print sellers began to specialise in caricature and comic images such as Matthew and Mary Darly. Mary Darly (fl.1756-1779) was a printseller, caricaturist, artist, engraver, writer, and teacher, who wrote, illustrated, and published the first book on caricature drawing, "A Book of Caricaturas" [sic] (c. 1762), aimed at "young gentlemen and ladies." Her husband, Matthew Darly, also called Matthias (fl.1741-1778), was a London printseller, furniture designer, and engraver. By 1756, the husband-and-wife team had printshops in Fleet Street and the Strand, and Mary was the sole manager of the branch at “The Acorn, Ryders Court (Cranbourne Alley), Leicester Fields. Mary also advertised in the daily papers in her own name as “etcher and publisher.” The Darlys’ shops initially concentrated on political themes in the 1750s, at a time of political crises, but then focused on world of fashion: "They seem to have been shrewd business people, changing their output in response to the fashion of the day." Their etchings and engravings included “Wigs” (October 12 1773); “The Preposterous Head Dress, or the Featherd Lady” (March 20 1776); “Phaetona or Modern Female Taste” (November 6, 1776); “Miss Shuttle-Cock” (December 6, 1776); and this print, “Oh. Heigh. Oh. Or a View of the Back Settlements” (July 9, 1776), a play on words that refers to Ohio Territory. Although their work is difficult to separate, this print is thought to be by Mary Darly who probably used as her source a contemporary map of the North American hinterlands on which appeared the wording "Course of the Ohio River and the Back Settlements." In Darly's pun about the Ohio country as she portrayed the 'back settlements' of a contemporary fashionable hair style (known as a pouf), she satirizes the extreme height of the style. The print shows the rear view of a woman's elaborate hair style which culminates in a huge bonnet with ostrich plumes. A collection of fruits and vegetables is nestled among her curls, and feathers issue from within the monumental coiffure.

satire; hairstyles; women

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