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The Kit-Cat Club Done From the Original Paintings Of Sr. Godfrey Kneller By Mr. Faber.

RA Collection: Book

Record number



[S.l.:: s.n.,], 1735.

Physical Description

T.pl., engr. dedic., 43 [i.e. 47] pl.; 397 mm.

General Note

In addition to the plates numbered 1-43 there are four others, numbered 'Between 5 & 6', 'Between 15 & 16', 'Between 40 & 41' and 'Between 41 & 42'. Plate 8 is double and shows two portraits.

Responsibility Note

The title-plate is signed as designed and drawn by H. Gravelot and made by J. Faber. The engraved dedication is unsigned. All numbered plates are signed as painted by G. Kneller (the first as by 'Se ipse') and made by J. Faber.

The work is dedicated by John Faber to Charles Seymour, Duke of Somerset.


J.D. Stewart, Sir Godfrey Kneller (1983); [M. Ransome], The portraits of members of the Kit-Cat Club painted during the years 1700-1720 (1945); J.C. Smith, British Mezzotinto Portraits (4 vols. in 5, 1878-84).

Summary Note

The publication-date of 1735 is carried by the title-plate and by plates 1, 5/6, 32, 39 and 41/2. All other numbered plates carry the dates of 1731, 1732, 1733 or 1734.

Faber's mezzotints show a celebrated series of half-length portraits - those by Kneller of the Kit-Cat Club, a dining-club of Whig politicians, noblemen and writers, who sat to him between ca. 1700 and ca. 1720. Kneller was a most highly-regarded portraitist, admired by Hogarth, Reynolds, Wright of Derby and other painters.

The paintings were donated by the sitters to the club's secretary, Jacob Tonson, and are now in the National Portrait Gallery, London.


The verso of the front loose endpaper is inscribed in pencil, 'CLE', i.e. Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, librarian of the Royal Academy 1842-44 and President 1850-65.

Copy Note

A three-page manuscript note is bound among the preliminary leaves, entitled, 'The following account is taken from "Memoirs of the celebrated persons composing the Kit Cat Club" London 1821' [by J. Caulfield].

Binding Note

19th-century half red morocco, marbled-papered boards; spine lettered 'The Kit-Cat Club' and 'R.A.'

Name as Subject


Clubs (associations) - Celebrities - Politicians - Writers - Nobility - Noblemen - Great Britain - History - 18th century
Paintings - Portraits - Great Britain - 18th century
Collections - Great Britain - 18th century
Pictorial works - Mezzotints - Great Britain - 18th century