Underhill, ye Famous Comedian in ye Habit of
Obadiah ye Fanatick Elder (after Robert Bing)
Mr Cave Underhill
of the most curious mezzotint prints of the English 18th
century. According to Chaloner Smith, this was probably Faber's
first print, and he comments on its rarity: "Most of his earlier
prints are very seldom met with."
We have located two impressions of this print, in the National Portrait Gallery (London, which gives the dimensions as 130 x 87) and the British Museum (London, which is trimmed to 129x84 mm.).
Cave Underhill was a renowned
comedian and actor, with a remarkable career spanning some 50 years,
from 1660 to 1710. Davies (in Dramatic Miscellanies)
says that Mr Underhill was "a jolly and droll companion, a
tavern-haunter, dividing his time between Bacchus and Venus, a martyr
to gout, acting till he was past eighty, and that he possessed an
admirable vein of pleasantry."