An antique, monochrome copper engraving entitled Gymnastic Games etc, showing four panels - three with male Grecian figures partaking in various sports, and in the bottom panel a charioteer, all on an ornate background.
Drawn by E Dagley, engraved by D Smith, and published by John Murray, London, 1804.
His father, also John Murray, started the family publishing business in 1768.
John Murray II, the publisher of this print, was the second in the family dynasty. During his ownership it became one of the most important publishing houses in Britain, publishing works by Jane Austen, Walter Scott and Lord Byron. He was a personal friend of Lord Byron.
On 17 May 1824 Murray participated in one of the most notorious acts in the annals of literature. Byron had given him the manuscript of his personal memoirs to publish posthumously. Together with five of Byron's friends and executors, he decided to destroy Byron's manuscripts by burning them in the fire in his office, because he thought the scandalous details would damage Byron's reputation. Their contents remain unknown to this day.
Print size: 24cm x 18.5cm
Frame size: 43.5cm x 37cm