James Aickin, "School of Garrick"
Pencil and watercolour on laid paper
Mathews 267 (artist unknown) RW/CKA 50A (artist unknown)
1833 London, Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street, "Mr Mathews's Gallery of Theatrical Portraits" (267)
Aickin wears a blue jacket with collar turned down over his Shakespeare Ribband, from which hangs a Shakespeare favour. The background is pale blue.
The twelve portraits of the "School of Garrick" were drawn in the early 1790s by either Robert Dighton or Henry Spicer (G0006, G0022, G0032, G0037, G0100, G0166, G0211, G0612, G0650, G0655, G0661 and G0858). Evidence for the authorship of each drawing is discussed under its own entry where there is secondary evidence, but the balance is in favour of Spicer. Several of his engraved portraits are extremely close to the drawings. However, the large mezzotint of Charles Bannister, probably by James Laurie after Robert Dighton, was almost certainly Spicer's main point of reference when drawing the portraits of the entire group. The "School of Garrick," a club founded by several of Garrick's contemporaries, dined together once a week during the theatrical season. The club faded out in the early years of the nineteenth century. (See Michael Kelly, “Reminiscences”  2: 42-4; also Folger Library Art vol. d.94: "Garrick & his contemporaries / Collected by / George Daniel," p.104 - "Theatre Royal, Drury Lane / London Novr 23 1805 / The inclosed print which is the only proof / before the letter - was etched & designed by / Rowlandson - for the notice of meetings / of a Society of Performers in honor of the / Memory of the late David Garrick Esq. / and called 'The School of Garrick' - / Every Member must have been engaged / by & have acted under the management / of the 'British Roscius' Consisting of the / Following Gentlemen. / Messrs. John Palmer Francis Aickin / William Parsons Robert Palmer / Robert Baddeley John Moody / James Aickin William Farren [erased] James Dodd / John Burton James Wrighten / William Farren Francis Waldron / Wm. Powell Prompter."
Charles and John Bannister replace Francis Aickin and Waldron in Spicer's drawings. The members of the "School of Garrick" are all shown wearing the Shakespeare Ribband, first manufactured for Garrick's 1769 Shakespeare Jubilee at Stratford upon Avon, and a Shakespeare favour. All those who attended the Shakespeare Jubilee were requested to wear "Shakespeare Favours," small medallions of copper gilt, silver or gold with an image of Shakespeare on the recto and the inscription "We shall not look upon his like again" and on the verso the inscription "Jubilee at Stratford in Honour and to the Memory of Shakespeare September 1769 David Garrick Steward." The image of Shakespeare was similar to that on the larger medal worn by Garrick as Steward of the Jubilee. The multi-coloured ribbon was "made on purpose at Coventry (and) call'd The Shakespeare Ribband: it is in imitation of the Rainbow, which uniting the colours of all Parties, is likewise an emblem of the Great Variety of his Genius."