Metastasis - Transformation Playing Cards

The John Nixon Portfolio

His Transformation Playing Card Original Artwork of c1803

These are just some of the items included in this collection from the Scrapbook of John Coley Nixon  [1755 – 1818 ]

Nixon was known for landscapes, and for caricatures, some of which he etched himself.

He drew a number of views of the seats of the nobility and gentry in England and Ireland, which were engraved for a series published by William Watt

Beyond these simple facts not too much is known of him.

1803 A range of Transformation proofs from the
John Nixon Scrapbook
covering published packs from 1803 to 1820

This is a unique collection of 24 proof cards on 20 sheets
designed by John Nixon a caricaturist who worked closely with
Fores and other London publishers.

These cards represent first stage prints proofs
and hand colored final proofs
many with handwritten inscriptions.

They represent a look into the design and thoughts of the artist
and are the cornerstone for the history of the
English Transformation cards.

They are also a rare glimpse into the past.

John Nixon was a talented artist

He also excelled at other callings but we, in the Playing Card World, mostly  appreciate his humour and his imagination in the designs of the first Pack of English Transformation Playing Cards

He was honorary exhibitor in the RA between 1781 and 1815.

Nixon- Fuller – 3H Coloured
Babies christening with mother, father and priest

His association with Fores

From 1800 he operated from 50 Piccadilly

He worked from the following premises.

S W Fores [ Caricature Warehouse ] No 3 Piccadilly 1793
S W Fores 50 Piccadilly 1800
3S Coloured
Two men eating a third man looking on.
Frogs, what the Devil have I been swallowing frogs

This is the only item which features Playing Cards

- Two of Hearts -

2H Coloured  – Two men with glasses of punch,
one lighting a clay pipe.
Hard to decipher fully the handwriting comments


- ace of clubs -

Brightly coloured – an intriguing title – origins lost in History

He served as a special juryman

- work influence -

John Nixon also served as a special juryman
at the Guildhall court and as a captain
in the Guildhall Volunteers
which no doubt provided inspiration for many of his caricatures.
9s Coloured
The Awkward Sqad
MARCH ye Brutes

10H Coloured - COMEDY

5S Coloured - PANTOMIME

John Coley Nixon

View all the Sheets

All Sheets are available for viewing
Each sheet is presented as a Small Print
Clicking on that will bring up
A Large Format for Close Examination.

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