The first page of Issue No5 of the Glasgow Looking Glass. A near-complete run sold for £3400 in Carlisle.

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Published at John Watson’s lithographic press, the first issue appeared in June 1825 and it ran until April of the following year, but the bound collection of Issues 1-16 offered by Thomson Roddick (17.5% buyers premium) in Carlisle on July 9, which ends with a February 1826 copy, comprised a near-complete run. It sold for £3400.

A label on the upper board pricing the set at 25/- refers to the work as ‘Heath’s Comic Looking Glass or Mirror of Mirth’. But as the saleroom pointed out, there is some debate regarding the extent of William Heath’s involvement, which may not have begun until Issue 10.

Earlier issues were lithographed but following the appearance of Issue 5, whose title-page is seen above, they were engraved. The ‘State of the Weather’ is the theme of this page and the humour is sometimes quite cruel. The drawing of figures near a lamp-post on the right is captioned ‘A Galloping Consumption’ and appears to depict flies swarming over the skeletal remains of a horse that had been tied up and abandoned.