Modesty!

Caroline and Bergami sit together in an opera-box

Caroline and Bergami sit together in an opera-box, frowning angrily at the occupants of the pit, all men, who look up at the box disapprovingly. Bergami holds a bottle labelled ‘Essence of Bergamot’ and wears a braided hussar uniform. Caroline is very décolletée, with loose black curls and a four-cornered headdress. The Arms of the Republic of Genoa are on the wall beside them with a harp and musical score below. The front of the box is decorated with two cupids holding a ribbon.

  • Printmaker: Lane, Theodore, 1800-1828, printmaker.
  • Title: Modesty! [graphic].
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s St., June 7, 1821.

Catalog Record

821.06.07.02

Acquired March 2019

The modern genius of history at her toilet

The modern genius of history at her toilet

Caroline, wearing a chemise and high-strapped shoes, stands admiring herself in front of a full-length mirror. With her right hand she adjusts a feather in her elaborate headdress, which is adorned with the Prince of Wales’s feathers on the far side and several pointed feathers on the near side, two of which resemble horns; her left hand rests on her hip. Bergami stands behind her in astonished delight, his hands raised in the air; a garment hangs from his left arm, and several towels or pieces of clothing marked with the initials “B B” are strewn on the floor. A man and a woman peer in on the scene from an adjoining room, the man with a pleased look on his face and the woman with one of surprise. On the wall behind Bergami hangs an oval mirror, the decorative frame of which includes a figure of Cupid standing atop a goat while shooting an arrow. A book with “History” on its spine lies on its side in the left foregraound; a burning candle in its holder sits upon the book.

  • Printmaker: Lane, Theodore, 1800-1828, printmaker.
  • Title: The modern genius of history at her toilet [graphic].
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s St., May 20, 1821.

Catalog record 

821.05.20.02

Acquired March 2019

The doctors in labour

Print with twelve panels relating to the affair of Mary Toft

Print with twelve panels relating to the affair of Mary Toft, “the rabbit breeder”: from top left, she is held aloft by two men and a Harlequin or Merry Andrew, she has a rabbit in either hand; she pursues a rabbit while working in a field; she dreams of being impregnated by rabbit, Cupid is shown on a cloud beside her bed holding a rabbit in either hand; she is seated in a chair attended by two women while the two men and Harlequin discuss the monstrous birth; Harlequin demonstrates that he can express milk from her breast; Harlequin feels “the rabbets leapin in her belly” while two men look on; she sits on the edge of a bed and Harlequin kneels to seize a rabbit that emerges from her skirts while a doctor raises his hands in surprise, wishing to anatomize the animal; Harlequin stands behind a table holding a balance in which he weighs dung removed from the rabbit explaining to two men that this will allow him to judge whether the animal had “breath’d in air”; doctors and midwives discuss the phenomenon around a table and Harlequin enters claiming that the birth must be “praeternatural”; a crowd of gentlemen are welcomed to the bagnio in Leicester Square where Toft is housed; two men spy from the door to Toft’s room as another hands her a dead rabbit; Toft, weeping, is led away to Bridewell by two constables while Harlequin “sits upon Repenting stool, Cursing his fate in being made a Fool. See British Museum online catalogue.

  • Title: The doctors in labour, or, A new whim wham from Guildford [graphic] : being a representation of [the] frauds by which [the] Godliman woman, carried on her pretended rabbit breeding; also of [the] simplicity of our doctors, by which they assisted to carry on that imposture discover’d their own skill, & contributed to [the] Mirth, of His Majesties liege subjects.
  • Published: [London?] : [publisher not identified], [1726]

Catalog Record 

726.00.00.26+

Acquired September 2018

The wedding day

“The fat, moustached, Duchess of St. Albans and the slim Duke dance with vigour and agility, each poised on the left toe, arms interlaced, and hands meeting above their heads. From the Duchess’s small coronet rise giant ostrich feathers which curve above the heads of both and above which a big ducal coronet is suspended. He sings: My Wife shall dance, And I will sing so merry we’ll pass this_ day. She: For I hold it one of the wisest things to drive dull care away–. The musicians are two cynical cupids; one (left) sits on large sacks of sovereigns inscribed Cash; coins pour from a slit in a sack and lie on the carpet with a banker’s money-scoop. He fiddles: Money in both pockets. The other (right), seated on the apex of a huge melon from which a slice has been cut, plays bagpipes: And auld Robin Gray [Coutts] was a gued Old Man to me! with variations.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • PrintmakerHeath, Henry, active 1824-1850, printmaker.
  • TitleThe wedding day [graphic] / H. Heath delt
  • Publication[London] : [publisher not identified], published June 28, 1827.

Catalog Record 

827.06.28.01+

Acquired April 2017