Okey, Samuel (DNB00)

OKEY, SAMUEL (fl. 1765–1780), mezzotint engraver, is first described as Samuel Okey junior, and obtained premiums in 1765 and 1767 from the Society of Arts, the first being for a mezzotint engraving of 'Nancy Reynolds,' copied from that done by C. Phillips, after a picture by Sir J. Reynolds. In 1767 he exhibited at the Incorporated Society of Artists an engraving of 'An Old Man with a Scroll' after Reynolds, and in 1768 'A Mezzotinto after Mr. Cosway.' He produced a few fair engravings in mezzotint, among his earlier works being Mrs. Anderson, after R. E. Pine; Lady Anne Dawson, after Reynolds: Miss Gunning, and 'The Gunnings as Hibernian Sisters;' Nelly O'Brien, after Reynolds; William Powell the actor, after R. Pyle ; 'Miss Green and a Lamb,' after T. Kettle; 'A Burgomaster,' after F. Hals, &c. In 1770 he engraved a print, 'Sweets of Liberty,' after J. Collett; this was published by him and a Mr. Reaks, near Temple Bar. In 1773 their names appear as joint publishers of an engraved portrait by Okey of Thomas Hiscox, and as 'print sellers and stationers on the Parade, Newport, Rhode Island' (U. S.) They published a portrait of Thomas Honyman there in 1774, and one of Samuel Adams in 1775. It is uncertain whether Okey remained in America or returned to England. A print by him, 'A Modern Courtezan,' was published in 1778, but appears to have been executed earlier. Neither his name nor that of Reaks appears in the census of Newport, Rhode Island (U. S.), taken in 1774.

[Redgrave's Dict. of Artists: Chaloner Smith's British Mezzotinto Portraits; Dodd's manuscript Hist, of English Engravers (Brit. Mus. Add. MS. 33403).]

L. C.