Arshi, Cook of the Seraglio. Engrav'd from the Collection of the Rt. Hon.ble Lord Baltimore.
[London: no publisher, 1769].
Engraved plate (27 x 19.6 cm.), untrimmed with large margins. "Fran.co Smith pinx. G. Vitalba sculp."; "Publ.d accord.g to Act of Parl.t Jan.y 30 1769". A single plate from a series of Ottoman costume plates and portraits; this issued separately, but which would later be published as [Costumes of Constantinople], alternatively titled [Eastern Costume] (1768-1769). The portfolio issue contained twenty-eight engravings, each numbered in the upper right hand corner (this image was "Tav. XII". all after paintings in the collection of Frederick Calvert Baltimore. The painter Francis Smith accompanied Lord Baltimore on a trip to the Levant in 1763-4, and later exhibited his work in London 1768-73. The subject, Arshi, Cook of the Seraglio, was cook to the Turkish Sultan, and the Seraglio the sequestered living quarters used by wives and concubines in a Turkish household. The cook is depicted as a tall, mustachioed figure, made taller by his conical hat. Carrying a dish in his hands, he strides away from the flaming stove. The engraving of Smith's painting was done by Giovanni Vitalba, whose name appears in the margins of the print. Light foxing and spotting to the print; verso contains one early ink notation, and several later pencil annotations. Overall near very good. Rare. [Catalogued holdings include the Yale Center for British Art, the British Art Center, the Gennadius Library, and the Qatar National Library].