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Unknown printmaker; published by William Warter (active 1680–1698)

An Exact and Lively Mapp [...] of shows and humours upon the Ice of the River of Thames by London 1684

RCIN 750170

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An etching showing a bird's-eye view of the River Thames, frozen over: with figures, horses and carriages, booths and entertainments; with a cartouche containing the title, above, and five lines of description, inscribed below. The Thames in London froze over occasionally during the seventeenth century, allowing 'Frost Fairs' to be held on the ice. The winter of 1683-4 was the most severe on record and the Thames was frozen for two months from early December. Charles II and other members of the royal family visited the Frost Fair, which took place between London Bridge and Temple, on 31 January 1684. A variety of prints were produced to commemorate the fair, some of which were souvenir novelties printed in booths set up on the ice. More ambitious maps and views of the fair were issued as the ice was thawing, or post-date the fair. This print was advertised in the Term Catalogue for February 1684 and in the London Gazette for 4-7 February 1684, and shows a variety of booths and attractions, including a coffee house, a roast-beef booth, a lottery booth, bull-baiting, nine pins, a toy shop and many more activities. Text adapted from Charles II: Art & Power, London, 2017