Can you forbear laughing

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“A lady stands at her dressing-table (right), her hair in an enormous pyramid decorated with feathers torn from a peacock, an ostrich and a cock. A young girl wearing a hat holds the peacock by a wing; another wearing a cap tugs hard at one of its tail feathers (which are very unlike peacock’s feathers). An ostrich (left), which has lost most of its tail feathers, is about to pluck out those which ornament the lady’s hair. A cock stands in the foreground (right), having lost almost all its tail feathers, many of which lie on the floor. A black servant wearing a turban stands on his mistress’s right, handing feathers from a number which he holds in his left hand. The lady, who faces three-quarter to the right, is elaborately dressed in the fashion of the day. Her pyramid of hair is decorated with lappets of lace and festoons of jewels as well as with feathers. She wears large earrings, a necklace with a cross, her bodice is cut very low, and her elbow sleeves have lace ruffles. A pannelled wall forms the background.”–British Museum online catalog.

  • Printmaker: Dawe, Philip.
  • Published: London : Printed for R. Sayer & J. Bennett, No. 53 Fleet Street, as the act directs 14 June 1776.

Catalog Record & Digital Collection

776.06.14.01+

Acquired November 2012

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