bound volume (dimensions 54 x 38 x 6) inscr. on plate below image "The most Illustrious Princess Sophia Electriae Dowager of Brunswick, / Successor to ye Crown of England &c. after her Majesty Queen Ann & her Royal Issue. / Done by I. Smith from an original painting lately brought from Hanover. & sold by him at ye Lyon & Corron in Russell Street Covent Garden"; scratched on plate b.l. "1700"; inscr. on page t.r. hand-written in brown ink "22" CRE SMITH, John; (English; 1652-1743) PUB SMITH, John; (English; 1652-1743) AFTER WEIDEMANN, Friedrich Wilhelm; (Dutch; 1688-1750) Part of William Hunter's original bequest, this is one of three volumes which together contain 488 mezzotints, almost all made or published by John Smith. About two thirds are portraits of eminent late Stuart, early Hanoverian persons, and one third fancy and mythological subjects.
Instrumental in raising the standard of mezzotint portraits, Smith was the first British printmaker to gain a European reputation, and examples of his work were essential for any serious early to mid 18th century European print collection.
Hunter's set of volumes is a rare surviving example of a comprehensive collection of mezzotints compiled in the 1730s.
Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover was the granddaughter of James I and mother of George I, the first Hanoverian monarch. Her portrait is thought to have been painted by German portrait painter Friedrich Wilhelm Weidemann. Smith created a set of Royal portraits covering the Stuart and Hanoverian dynasties up to George II, several in two sizes and a smaller, reversed version of this print is included in the second volume.