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John Kay Print

An inventory of his print at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: KD
Date: 10 Jan 2019

Biographical History

John Kay (1742-1826) was a Scottish caricaturist who specialized in portrait etching and miniature painting.

He was born near Dalkeith, Scottland and at age 13 was apprenticed to a barber, whom he served for six years. In 1785, a year after publishing his first caricature of Laird Robertson for which he received great praise, he gave up barbering to open a print shop in Parliament Close. There he continued making prints of local celebrities and oddities of Edinburgh society. His shop was destroyed by the Great Edinburgh Fire of November 1824 and he died in Edinburgh two years later.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The John Kay Print is a single print of American General Buttons on horseback, originally drawn by British Colonel Archibald Campbell.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single item.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Kay, John, 1742-1826.


Etchers -- Scotland.
Prints -- 18th century.


Saratoga (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Etchings (prints)
Prints (visual works)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

John Kay Print,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information


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