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Robert Hancock

(1731—1817) engraver


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(b Badsey, Hereford & Worcs, bapt 7 April 1731; d Brislington, Avon, 14 Oct 1817). English engraver and painter. In 1756 he joined the Worcester Porcelain Company, of which he became a partner in March 1772. At Worcester, Hancock engraved copperplates for transfer-printing on porcelain. Many designs were adapted from contemporary engravings and paintings, particularly those of the French schools; such romantic scenes as Amusements champêtres and Fêtes vénitiennes were derived from compositions by Antoine Watteau (1684-1721). A series of children's games, including Battledore and Shuttlecock, Blind Man's Buff and Marbles, are based on a series of compositions engraved by Gravelot (1699-1773). Mugs with portraits of Frederick II, King of Prussia, dated 1757, are based on an engraving by Richard Houston (1721/2-75) after a painting by Antoine Pesne (1683-1757) and are among the best-known examples of Hancock's work. The English schools also provided subjects for Hancock's engravings. A half-length portrait of George III decorates Worcester mugs together with one of Queen Charlotte, both likenesses after engravings by James McArdell. Portraits of Admiral Edward Boscawen, General John Manners, the Marquess of Granby and William Pitt decorate mugs, and these likenesses are considered to be among the best of Hancock's work at Worcester. Hancock had two apprentices, Valentine Green (1739-1813) and James Ross (1745-1821), both of whom later became well-known engravers.

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From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.


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