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The penny wedding
Greatbach, William, b. 1802 (Engraver)
Wilkie, David, Sir, 1785-1841 (Artist)

Prints depicting dance

Theatrical dancers, singly or in pairs

Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1848
Place: London
Publisher: Geo. Virtue
Library locations
Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Shelf locator: *MGZFX Gre W Pen 1
Gow, Niel, 1727-1807
Weddings -- Scotland -- 19th century
Ballroom dancing -- Scotland -- 19th century
Reproductive prints
Statement of responsibility: painted by Sir David Wilkie, R.A. ; engraved by W. Greatbach.
Caption title.
Acquisition: Gift; Lincoln Kirstein.
Biographical/historical: The term "penny wedding" refers to a Scottish tradition in which the guests each contribute a penny towards expenses, with any leftover funds going to the newlywed couple. Alternatively, the guests were said to bring their own food and drink to the post-ceremony festivities. The online catalog of the Royal Collection, London, identifies the fiddler as Niel Gow, 1727-1807.
Biographical/historical: Sir David Wilkie's original oil painting was created in 1818 for King George IV, and is now held by the Royal Collection in London. William Greatbach, the engraver, was known for his engravings after Wilkie's paintings, many of which were published in a collection titled The Wilkie Gallery (1848-1850).
Physical Description
Extent: 1 print : engraving, b&w ; 24 x 30 cm.
Reproductive print. Representation of a celebration in a rustic interior, possibly a farmhouse. The guests are chiefly engaged in conversing or eating, but two couples are dancing to the accompaniment of a fiddler and a cellist seated in front of the window at left. Most of the participants wear fashions of the early nineteenth-century, but a man at background center appears to be dressed in a kilt. He and a second man, to the right of the dancers, wear hats that seem to be trimmed in tartan.
Type of Resource
Still image
RLIN/OCLC: 825552246
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b19759787
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 97bca9a0-88f9-0134-27cf-00505686a51c
Rights Statement
The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.

Item timeline of events

  • 1848: Issued
  • 2019: Digitized
  • 2024: Found by you!
  • 2025

MLA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "The penny wedding" The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1848. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/50f9c000-8cb8-0134-43b3-00505686a51c

Chicago/Turabian Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. "The penny wedding" New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed July 20, 2024. https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/50f9c000-8cb8-0134-43b3-00505686a51c

APA Format

Jerome Robbins Dance Division, The New York Public Library. (1848). The penny wedding Retrieved from https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/50f9c000-8cb8-0134-43b3-00505686a51c

Wikipedia Citation

<ref name=NYPL>{{cite web | url=https://digitalcollections.nypl.org/items/50f9c000-8cb8-0134-43b3-00505686a51c | title= (still image) The penny wedding, (1848) |author=Digital Collections, The New York Public Library |accessdate=July 20, 2024 |publisher=The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations}}</ref>

The penny wedding