Actor of all work

description below

“Wellington sits behind a small cloth-covered table flanked by eight other representations of himself, as depicted in recent caricatures, apparently all by W. Heath. The arrangement is evidently that of Charles Mathews’ ‘At Homes’, see British Museum Satires No. 14714, &c., Wellington, like Mathews, being in propria persona at the table. In this guise he wears the robes (indistinguishable from Coronation robes) and collar of the Garter and the order of the Golden Fleece and a (crown-like) ducal coronet; his head is turned in profile to the right. Immediately below him, the head and hands of another Wellington, who is crouching on the floor, project from the tablecloth; he grasps a royal crown, and wears a cap coloured blue and resembling a tam-o’-shanter, but perhaps intended for a coronet. The other Wellingtons, all standing (left to right): [1] A mute as in British Museum Satires No. 15501, in profile to the right. [2] A Grenadier, full-face and rigidly at attention, much as in British Museum Satires No. 15768, but without the musket. [3] A ratcatcher stooping to the left and touching his hat, the cage in his left hand (cf. British Museum Satires No. 15806). [4] Aged and cloaked, wearing spectacles, with bowed head, he clasps a cross in both hands. [5] The old woman in a soldier’s coat of British Museum Satires No. 15721, facing, and apparently in angry altercation with, the seated Wellington. [6] The coachman of British Museum Satires No. 15731, in profile to the left, holding shaft and lash of his whip as if they were the reins of a four-in-hand which he is driving. [7] Wellington in uniform, directed to the left, wearing his plumed cocked hat and holding up with a furtive expression a sword with a damaged blade in a dilapidated scabbard. [8] A mummy-case with an aperture to show Wellington’s head with the forefingers compressing his mouth; below the aperture is the word ‘Mum’. (Apparently from a satire on Wellington’s silence as to his intentions on Catholic Relief until the eve of the opening of Parliament, see British Museum Satires No. 15659.) There is a background of curtains. Cf. British Museum Satires No. 15787.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: Actor of all work [graphic] / [man with an umbrella] Esqr.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. June 15, 1829, by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket …, [15 June 1829]

Catalog Record

829.06.15.01+

Acquired May 2023

Delilah depriveing Sampson…

description below

“Lady Hertford, seated regally on a small sofa, cuts locks from the head of the Regent who reclines against her knees, asleep. The locks already cut are on the ground inscribed respectively ‘Sheridan’, ‘Norfolk’, ‘Moira’, ‘Holland’, ‘Erskine’. She is about to shear off one inscribed ‘Grenville’; the last, ‘Grey’, is still on his head. The Prince, who is conventionally handsome, and wears uniform, holds a paper signed ‘[Gren]ville / Grey’; his garter, inscribed ‘Honi so . . .’, is loose, and his left hand hides the star on his breast. Lord Yarmouth (right) stands holding a guttering candle; he points to the uncut lock, saying, “Don’t forget that lock laying [on] the shoulder its Grey dy’ye see!” In his pocket is a pamphlet: ‘Art of Milling’ [see British Museum Satires No. 11842]. To leave no doubt as to his identity, a basket of fish is beside him inscribed ‘[Y]armouth Herrings’. Lady Hertford is heavily handsome; a small crown, which might pass as a tiara decorates her head; one foot rests regally on a footstool. A pillar and drapery behind her suggest regal state. On the sofa beside her is a rolled document headed ‘Road to Hertford from Pall Mall’. On the ground (left) are empty wine-bottles; on a book by the Prince’s feet, ‘Economy of Human Life’, lies a broken bottle from which wine pours. Behind (left) stands Perceval in his Chancellor of the Exchequer’s gown, watching from behind a curtain which he holds aside; Castlereagh stands behind him, saying, “By Jasus, but she’s as pretty a Barber as ever I clap’t my eyes upon.” Perceval answers: “Hush! Hush! you’l wake him before they are all cut.”.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Delilah depriveing Sampson of those locks in which consisted his strength [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. Feby. 1812 by Walker and Knight, No. 7 Cornhill, [February 1812]

Catalog Record

812.02.00.03+

Acquired September 2023

The lovely Sacarissa dressing for the Pantheon

description below

“A stout, ugly, and elderly woman holds in her left hand a barber’s block, with a carved head in profile, on which is an elaborate pyramidal wig with ringlets. This she is covering with powder or flour from a dredger. Her hair is short and scanty; on her head is a very large black patch, two smaller ones are on her temple. She is dressed in undergarments, showing stays, and frilled petticoat over which is worn a pocket. Her dress, the bodice of which is almost cylindrical from its stiffening whalebone, is on a stool behind her. Her back is turned to the casement window (right) through which look two grinning old women, wearing frilled muslin caps. Over the window, and over the wall on its left, is a heavily festooned curtain. Sacarissa stands facing a low rectangular table (left), on which are a bottle and wine-glass, a candle (?) in a triangular shade, which is falling over, having apparently been knocked by the wig, patches, a comb, a paper, &c. Behind on the wall, in deep shadow, is a picture of a dome inscribed “The Pantheon”.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Dawe, Philip, printmaker.
  • Title: The lovely Sacarissa dressing for the Pantheon [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], publish’d Feby. 24, 1772.

Catalog Record

772.02.24.02+

Acquired April 2023

High life at five in the morning

description below

Print shows an interior view of a room; a duke has arrived home drunk at 5 a.m. (as shown on the longcase clock beside the door) accompanied by two attendants and watchman only to find his bedchamber occupied by another man. Through the open curtains around the bed can be seen a bare-breasted duchess. On the floor near the bed is an open book, “Memoirs of a woman of pleasure” (a reference to John Cleland’s Fanny Hill …) beside the chamber pot. As the duke with sword drawn, staggers forward, his rival climbs through a window in the background, leaving his clothes behind on a chair. A monkey dashes onto the table near the window on the heels of the husband’s rival but pulls down the tablecloth causing the items on the table to be strewn across the floor in the foreground; a book opened to pages “Chastity in the nobility a farce. Dedicated to their Graces the Duke & Dutchess xxx”, breaking a broken mirror, and sending the bottles and jars onto the floor. The bottles have labels “Viper drops” and “Surfeit water” and the jar is labeled “Lip salve”.

  • Title: High life at five in the morning [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], publish’d according to act of Parliament, May 1st, 1769.

Catalog Record

769.05.01.01+

Acquired February 2022

The old bachelor’s thermometer

description below

The image at top shows an old man sitting in an armchair on the right, his gouty foot resting on a footstool, a crutch seen leaning against a stool beside him. He looks up at a younger woman on the left, who wears a bonnet and apron and is looking down and away from him. Draperies and a framed picture of Cupid shooting an arrow decorate the wall behind them. The text below, in two columns with an age listed at the beginning of each line, tells the humorous tale of the consequences of a man putting off marriage for prideful reasons from age “16 – incipient palpitations towards the young ladies”, through the ages of “29 – rails against the fair sex”, “37 – indulge in every kind of dissipation”, and “48 – thinks living alone quite irksome …”. Eventually, he resolves to have a prudent young woman as housekeeper and companion, gradually feeling some attachment to her and becoming completely under her influence. At age 60, as he begins to feel ill, and “grows rapidly worse, has his will made in her favour, and makes an exit.”

  • Title: The old bachelor’s thermometer. The old maid’s thermometer [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Published by S. and J. Fuller, 34, Rathbone-Place, [between 1809 and 1839]
  • Manufacture: [London] : Printed by L. Harrison, 373, Strand.

Catalog Record

809.00.00.64

Acquired March 2020

The grand coronation of Her Most Graceless Majesty C-r-l–e Columbina

description below

“A burlesque coronation of the Queen. She sits enthroned on a dais, raising her right foot with tipsy joviality. In her right hand as sceptre is a rod topped by a tiny cask which a naked Bacchus bestrides. The orb in her left hand is a decanter; on her head is a tilting punch-bowl. She watches her champion Wood (left) (acting the part of Dymoke, cf. British Museum Satires No. 14193), a grotesque figure in armour on a caparisoned ass (see British Museum Satires No. 14146). He has just thrown down the glove, pulling his braying mount on to its haunches, and looks up with a fatuous stare at the Queen. His helmet is topped by an owl from which clouds of smoke ascend (cf. British Museum Satires No. 14196). John Bull (right), a ‘cit’ wearing an ill-fitting wig and top-boots, stoops to pick up the glove, supporting himself by a cudgel inscribed My God My King a[nd my] Country. Between these two foreground figures stands a ragged newsboy holding his horn, the paper in his cap inscribed Brandy burgh [cf. British Museum Satires No. 14191] Gazette; slung from his shoulders is a large sheaf of his newspaper, Brandyburg Gazette Extraordinary–Baron B…..i to be Il Baron par Excellence–Ad- W – – d to be Earl Log [see British Museum Satires No. 14189]–Lady A H [Anne Hamilton] to be Spinster for Life–L. H – – d to be Marquis Doodle. Attendants are grouped round the Queen on the dais, which is under festooned curtains. These are (left to right): Denman and Brougham, in wig and gown, applauding and gesturing; two turbaned Turks; Bergami, handsome and complacent, at the Queen’s right hand. Slightly behind are a simian face, Lady Anne Hamilton wearing the feathered Scots cap of British Museum Satires No. 14175, and another woman, Italian in appearance (probably Countess Oldi). Behind the Queen’s chair on the right are two hooded figures, the more prominent, who holds a decanter, being Viscount Hood, the other perhaps Keppel Craven. Two naval officers must be Hownam and Flinn. On the canopy of the throne behind the Queen are her arms; the quarterings are wine-glasses, bottles, a tent (see British Museum Satires No. 13818), and a bath containing a tiny figure (see British Museum Satires No. 13819). The supporters are a satyr and a goat; the motto, Bergami and My Bottle [see British Museum Satires No. 14175]. On the extreme left, supported on Gothic arches, is a gallery crowded with ladies, as in Westminster Abbey at the Coronation. On a lower level, seen through the arches of the Abbey, is a dense proletarian crowd with banners, pikes, and caps of Liberty. The characters are indicated by inscriptions divided by vertical lines, as in British Museum Satires No. 14182, and centred by a cartouche. These are (left to right): Mobility in Attendance. The Champion of Absolute Wisdom [see British Museum Satires No. 13899] on his renowned Steed. The Keepers of her Majesty’s Conscience [her Counsel]. Her Majesty’s Lord Great Chamberlain Her Majesty’s Privy Counsellor Knight Commander of the Bath Chief Performer of the Canopy Service and Courier Extraordinary [Bergami]. Hooded Doodles in Waiting [Lord Hood and his companion]. Barons of the Bedposts. Performers of the Canopy Service [the naval officers]. In the cartouche: If any Person of what degree soever, high or low, shall deny or gainsay our Puppet C . r . l . . e Columbina [see British Museum Satires No. 14120] of Brandy-burgh House, of the United Kingdoms of Soberness and Chastity, Defender of the easy Virtues &c &c the Right of being Crowned with a crown Bowl of Imperial Punch, or that she should not enjoy the same, here is her Champion, who saith he doth not care a Drug, being ready in person to lay a bet that she is, and in this wager will venture his Eighteen Pence against a Shilling wherever, and whenever his Adversary may choose.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Lane, Theodore, 1800-1828, printmaker.
  • Title: The grand coronation of Her Most Graceless Majesty C-r-l–e Columbina, the first queen of all the radicals &c &c &c, July 19th, 1821 [graphic].
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s Street, August 6th, 1821.

Catalog Record

821.08.06.01+

Acquired March 2020

Re-takeing the bed of roses by storm!!

“A low platform covered with roses extends almost across the design; from this bed new Ministers advancing from the left are ejecting the old. Roses are scattered on the floor. The central figure is the tall and handsome Castlereagh, author of the phrase, see British Museum satires No. 10558, &c. With a taut two-stringed bow in his left hand, a quiver on his shoulders, he strides across Grenville who is on his back on the bed, and takes ‘Candle End[s] & Cheese Paring[s]’ from a bag with which Windham tries to make off (see British Museum Satires No. 9735). He says: “I’d have you to know I’ve two strings to my Bow!! Down, Down, Down, Derry Down!!” [See British Museum satires No. 10426.] Behind him, Portland threatens Grenville (in his peer’s robe) with a big block of ‘Portland Stone’ [see British Museum Satires No. 10718, &c.]. In front of Windham Rose steps forward from the bed to grasp a large rose on the floor: ‘Treasurership of the Navy.’ This Sheridan, in his Harlequin’s suit (see British Museum Satires No. 9916), is crawling towards, saying, “Just got into my first Nap – how – Unfortunate – come Sir fat touch that however.” Rose holds up a pair of bellows inscribed ‘Sing old Rose & burn the Bellows’. Eldon, in Chancellor’s wig and gown, strides from the bed on to the prostrate Erskine, seizing the Purse of the Great Seal, whose cord is still round the latter’s arm. He raises the mace to strike the ex-Chancellor, whose wig has fallen off. Erskine says: “Be quiet I’ll retire”; he holds a money-bag inscribed ‘4,000 Pr Anm’ [see British Museum Satires No. 10714]. Lauderdale, wearing a plaid, is behind him on the ground. On the extreme left Canning, standing on the bed, holds up a massive club inscribed ‘Bon Mots & Repartee by G C–g’; he stoops over Howick pointing at the ‘Catholic Bill’, which the latter holds. Howick steps from the bed, angrily looking up at Canning (his especial enemy, cf. British Museum Satires No. 10972), but, unlike his colleagues, not devoid of dignity. On the ground between Howick and Sheridan is Petty in his gown, one hand on his ‘Budget’, a small bag, the other on a sheaf of papers inscribed ‘Ways & Means’. He says: “Bless me I wish I was safe in College I’d never have anything more to do with Taxes” [an allusion to his youth, and to the fact that he was M.P. for Cambridge]. In the background (right) are Moira in his cocked hat and Lord Temple who makes off rapidly.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Re-takeing the bed of roses by storm!! [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [ca. April 1807]

Catalog Record

807.04.00.03+

Acquired October 2019

 

Reposing on a bed of roses

“Ministers recline on a large low platform, representing a magnificent state bed, which is completely covered with roses. It recedes in perspective from left to right. On the left is Fox, looking sourly over his left shoulder at his neighbour, Sheridan, to say: “This is the most uncomfortable bed I was ever on in my Life and not the least like a bed of Roses – Zound!! what a thorn is running into me – Oh that Bramble – Sherry my Dear how do you find it – “. Sheridan answers: “My dear Charley, I have not had a wink since I have been on it, – curse that Castle man what did he mean by his bed of roses – I am as sore from the tip of my Nose, to the tip of my Toe – as if I had been roling on a quick set-hedge – or stung to death by a swarm of bees at a Hampshire Farmers [an allusion to Cobbett’s pen]”. Behind Fox, and in profile to the left, Moira, in uniform, with cocked hat and jack-boots, sits up, very erect; he says: “What are Cannons or Bombs or clashing of swords, compared to the pain I endure.” Windham, next Sheridan, registering melancholy, says: “I feel more uneasy than if the whole Volunteer force was upon me.” Ellenborough, behind Sheridan and Windham, ill-temperedly puts his hand to his wig. Erskine, also in wig and gown, reclines as if exhausted, his eyes closed, his attitude characteristic of his notorious fainting in court (see British Museum Satires No. 7956). He and Grey (Lord Howick from 11 Apr.), who sits behind him, are in profile to the right; the latter says: “It is just such a bed, as I expected the late bungling bed makers would leave us.” On the extreme right little Lord Henry Petty (wearing his Chancellor of the Exchequer’s gown) sits up, angrily holding above his head two handfuls of thorn-branches. He says: “I shall never have done clearing the brambles and Nettles from this Bed, my Budget would not hold one half of them.” The low frame of the bed is carved and has a valance of fringed and festooned draperies. At the head are the Royal Arms; looped curtains are suspended above it.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Reposing on a bed of roses [graphic] / Argus invt.
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. April 1806 by Walker, 7 Cornhill, [April 1806]

Catalog Record 

806.04.00.03+

Acquired October 2019

Moments of pleasure

“Companion plate to British Museum Satires no. 13988. Seated on a sofa, the Queen, wearing a large feathered hat, receives the news of the dropping of the Bill; beside her is a paper: ‘Bill of Pains Thrown out’. Alderman Wood, in a furred gown more elegant than civic, capers before her, holding up his arms, snapping his fingers, and grinning with delight. The Queen looks up at him, with a gesture of surprised satisfaction; she is caricatured, but better characterized than in other prints, resembling the description given by Creevey of her appearance at the trial on 17 Aug. She sits facing a long scroll on which names of places presenting Addresses are inscribed (see British Museum Satires no. 13934, &c.): ‘London’ (in large letters), ‘Westminster’, ‘So[uthwark]’. On the wall behind her is a (flattering) bust portrait of Bergami, wearing his decorations (see British Museum Satires no. 13810). In the doorway (left) are the leading members of a body of proletarian addressers; the foremost, with the curved shin-bones known as ‘cheesecutters’ which resulted from rickets, holds a paper: ‘Address to the Queen’; they are received by a thin, sour-looking lady, evidently Lady Anne Hamilton. They have two banners: ‘Queer Fellows’ and ‘St Gi[les]’, but among them is the profile of Hobhouse, the radical M.P. for Westminster. Over the wide doorway is a picture or relief of two little puppets on a string: the King and Queen performing antics while the string is pulled by a fiddler and another man, watched by two bystanders. The room (in Brandenburgh House) is ornately furnished; a heavy curtain is draped round a pillar.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • PrintmakerLane, Theodore, 1800-1828, printmaker.
  • TitleMoments of pleasure [graphic].
  • Publication[London] : Pubd. by G. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s St., 1820 [ca. November]

Catalog Record 

820.11.00.02

Acquired March 2017