Committee of Taste, or, The punishment of a modern Midas

description below

“A satire on the rebuilding of Drury Lane Theatre. Whitbread, Chairman of the Committee, bestrides a barrel, the head inscribed ‘The Butt M, T’ [empty]. He has long ass’s ears and points to a table beside him on the extreme right where there is a model of a theatre with a pillared portico and pediment. This rests on a paper inscribed ‘Whitbread Copeland Holland Rolls &ca clear gains 450000!!!!!’ Next Whitbread a man sits behind a similar table littered with plans all inscribed ‘Plan of Drury Lane’. He also has ass’s ears, to which a second pair has been added in water-colour. He looks through an eye-glass, resting his right elbow on an anchor, while he holds at arm’s length the model of a theatre whose portico is flanked by two large sphinxes. A carved sun, like the emblem of the Sun Fire-Office, decorates his chair; on the right is a broad post or terminal pillar supporting a man’s head, also with ass’s ears. This rests on a volume inscribed ‘Commons’, and on its face in large letters are the words ‘Ex Nihilo Nihil Fil’; from its upper edge a signpost arm projects to the right inscribed ‘To Coventry’, showing that he is Peter Moore. Behind Whitbread (left) and partly screened by a heavy curtain is a table supporting a third model of a theatre, also with a portico. Whitbread, frowning slightly, says: “These Resolutions once carried good bye Friend Sherry Old Claimants and new Subscribers (aside) Hem! I think I have bullied the Committe [sic] properly.” His neighbour (? Lord Holland) who smiles, has a round good-humoured face; he says: “La! Mr Chairman I think my Sphynxes look Monstrous Pretty.””–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Committee of Taste, or, The punishment of a modern Midas [graphic] : dedicated (without permission) to the subscribers to the New Theatre Drury Lane.
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [1812?]

Catalog Record

812.00.00.125+

Acquired January 2020

Monsr. Alexandre in The rogueries of Nicholas

description below

“A scene from a play: a soldier admired by a lady at her dressing table stands before a table of heads and ghosts, with an elderly couple to the right.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker, artist.
  • Title: Monsr. Alexandre in The rogueries of Nicholas [graphic] / drawn & etch’d by W. Heath.
  • Publication: [Dublin] ; [London] : Pubd. 22nd Jany. 1825 by Wm. Heath at the new Panorama, 15 Grafton St., Dublin, and Henry Heath, London, [22 January 1825]

Catalog Record 

825.01.22.01+

Acquired January 2020

The hostile press and the consequences of crim. con.

description below

“Kean, in the costume of Sir Giles Overreach, stands on the stage, indicated by a boarded floor surrounded by flame and smoke from the jaws of a semicircle of ferocious monsters, serpentine, scaly, and fanged, and with glaring eyeballs. The largest and most menacing is the Old Times, emitting Gall, Spite Venon [sic] Hypocricy. Towards this Kean directs his levelled rapier, saying, By the powers of Shakspeare, I defy ye all. He holds above his head a large open book: Shakspeare, which is irradiated. Almost as large as the ‘Times’ is the pendant to it: New Times, vomiting Hypocricy. The other monsters are not specified, they spit flames inscribed respectively: Spleen; Cant; Malignity; Slander; Spite; Envy; Malice; Nonsence; Oblique.”–British Museum catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, Robert, 1789-1856, printmaker.
  • Title: The hostile press and the consequences of crim. con., or, Shakspeare in danger / R. Cruikshank delt.
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. Feby. 1825 by J. Fairburn, Broadway, Ludgate Hill, [1825 February]

Catalog Record 

825.02.00.01+

Acquired January 2020

State of the giraffe

description below

“The King’s giraffe hangs limply from a sling which is suspended from a cross-beam supported on two uprights. George IV and Lady Conyngham push hard at a windlass to hoist up their pet. He has thrown off his coat and rolled up his shirt-sleeves; tight breeches define spherical posteriors. She looks up sentimentally at the animal, whose forelegs are swathed in stockings, with the feet in large shoes stamped with a crown. Beside it is an open chest of stoppered spirit bottles. A background of trees and grass indicates Windsor Park.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: State of the giraffe [graphic] / [man with an umbrella] Esqr.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket …, [ca. July 1829]

Catalog Record

829.07.00.05+

January 2020

Sailors conversing on horseback

description below

“Social satire; two sailors on horseback, one with a pipe in his hatband on a small white horse with a spotted handkerchief on a stick attached to its bridle, the other smoking a pipe on a large brown horse; they ask each other how their journeys on their horses have been, using language associated with ships, for example: “endeavouring to double the point at Mile-end she fell foul of a dray, and smack she lay me keel upermost in a stinking ditch … I hoisted my pocket handkerchief on her topmast as a sign of distress, which was seen by some comrades at anchor in the moorings. …”.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Roberts, Piercy, active 1791-1805, printmaker.
  • Title: Sailors conversing on horseback [graphic] / Woodward del. ; etch’d by Roberts.
  • Publication: London : Pubd. by P. Roberts, 28 Middle-row, Holborn, [ca. 1803]

Catalog Record

803.00.00.52+

Acquired September 2020

A North-ern ass

description below

“Satire on the election for County Durham, 14 April 1784: Sir Thomas Clavering and Sir John Upton, one headless, holding a caption labelled ‘The Irish Faction for ever’ and carrying the other, who has no feet, on his back, who says ‘I serv’d you as long as I could stand’ and carries captions lavelled ‘Coal owners Bill’ and ‘A command in India’; both seated on an ass facing left, which brays ‘Thus I go to Parliament and am not the first Ass that has farted for preferment, but this is dirty work and hard Labour’ and which has a collar labelled ‘I speak for my Master / Populus me sibilat at plaudo ipse domi’ and strips at the saddle labelled ‘Curse all Pitts / But a Coal-Pitt’; with the ass’ droppings falling on a crest with the motto ‘Diem Perdidi’; a mitre, crozier and sword and label ‘At rest’ on the ground in the centre, playing cards and papers labelled ‘Turnpike Speech / Election Speech’ to left; a milestone to right labelled ‘From Durham / T: C / J: E / 14 April 1784’.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Hutchinson, W., active 1773-1784, printmaker.
  • Title: A North-ern ass [graphic].
  • Publication: [London?] : [publisher not identified], [1784]

Catalog Record

784.00.00.80

Acquired November 2020

Perusing the state papers

description text

“Napoleon, John Bull (a ‘cit’), a British general wearing a star, and the Duke of Portland sit in conference, each holding a large double paper covered with type or script. Napoleon sits on the left, pointing to the text of his paper and saying to his neighbour, “You see Mr Bull the case is simply this If you do so, I’ll do so!” John, much disconcerted, stares at the Emperor, exclaiming “O! O!” The general also looks at Napoleon, perturbed. Portland (right), who sits in an armchair facing the Emperor, with frank dismay says: “If he says O! O! I’m afraid t’is but so! so!”.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: Perusing the state papers, or, Sounding the opinions of John Bull [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], March 1808.

Catalog Record

808.03.00.04+

Acquired November 2020

The grand coronation procession of Napoleone the 1st

description below

“Napoleon and Josephine are in the centre of an elaborate processional design. Individuals and groups are identified by eleven captions in the lower margin. The background is formed of close ranks of French soldiers, with a forest of caps, spears, pikes, and banners receding in perspective. The front row, facing the procession, are grenadiers at attention with bayoneted muskets, the letter ‘N’ in front of their bearskins. They are in shadow; those behind Napoleon are obscured by dense clouds of smoke from a censer; next them (l.) grenadiers blow trumpets and French horns. The procession is led, as by a drum-major, by the posturing and theatrical figure of ‘His Imperial Highness Prince Louis-Buonaparte Marbœuf – High Constable of the Empire’ [Marbeuf was his godfather] on the extreme right. He wears tight-fitting archaic dress, with a feathered coronet, a cloak trailing from one shoulder, buskins, and sabre. He carries a tall staff surmounted by a fleur-de-lis. Next come ‘The Three Imperial Graces, viz. Thier Imp. Highs Princess Borghese [Pauline], Princess. Louis (cher amie of ye Emperor) & Princess Joseph-Bonaparte’ [Hortense and Julie] – three slim young women, very scantily draped, scatter roses. All wear feathered coronets with long snaky curls on their shoulders; they resemble the sisters of Napoleon in BMSat 10072. The ground (l. to r.) is strewn with the flowers they have scattered. Next walks ‘Madame Talleyrand (ci devant Mrs Halhead the Prophetess conducting the Heir Apparent in ye Path of Glory’. A grossly fat woman leads by the hand the little Napoleon-Charles, son of Louis (b. 10 Oct. 1802). The child goose-steps arrogantly, holding out a sceptre in his left hand. He is dressed much like his father, but with the addition of a ribbon and star. Mme Talleyrand wears a feathered coronet and an enormous nosegay; she holds a fan on which is a goat. This, and her patched face, indicate her dissolute past. Slightly behind her, and on her right., hobbles ‘Talleyrand-Perigord. – Prime Minister & King at Arms bearing the Emperor’s Geneology.’ He is burlesqued, with a ‘cheese-cutter’ shin, and a r. foot supported by blocks under the shoe. On his left. shoulder he carries a framed genealogical tree, and hung to his person are crests and symbols in rectangular frames. Napoleon’s family tree issues from ‘Buone Butcher’ and, passing through ‘Buone Cuckold’, terminates in ‘Napoleone Emperor’, which is crowned. The collateral branches are illegible, but one is followed by ‘Hang’d’. …”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker.
  • Title: The grand coronation procession of Napoleone the 1st, Emperor of France, from the church of Notre-Dame, Decr. 2d, 1804 [graphic] / Js. Gillray invt. & fect.
  • Publication: London : Publish’d Jany. 1st, 1805, by H. Humphrey, 27 St. James’s Street, [1 January 1805]

Catalog Record

Drawer 805.01.01.06

Acquired January 2020

Harlequin and Mother Goose, or, The golden egg

description below

A writing sheet illustrated with scenes from Thomas Dibdin’s pantomime, first performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on Boxing Day 1806, a few months before this sheet was issued. There were at least twelve different scenes in Dibdin’s work, from which nine were chosen to illustrate the borders of the sheet. Another illustration at the foot of the sheet shows a carriage and a wagon followed by soldiers on horseback on a bridge over a river.

 

  • Title: Harlequin and Mother Goose, or, The golden egg [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Publish’d March 25, 1807, by Laurie & Whittle, 53 Fleet Street, London, [25 March 1807]

Catalog Record

807.03.25.01++

Acquired March 2020

The corn bill, or, Iohn Bull and his hobby

description below

“Mr. and Mrs. Bull are in their breakfast parlour; she sits beside a table on which is a tray with coffee-pot, &c, he stands booted and spurred, impatient to set off. Through an open doorway (right) a groom is seen holding a saddle-horse. Behind are the houses of a London street. Mrs. Bull reads with dismay the ‘[M]orning Post’; she cries: “Here Mr Bull here’s the Speech of that fellow on the Corn Bill – You must stop and hear this – The Price of Corn is yet Far Below the Price which is universally allowed to be Necessary!!!! why we shall all be starved Mr Bull.” He shouts, with outstretched arms: “D——n the Corn Bill! I have not time to think of any thing till the Election is over. – why Liberty and Independence is at stak [sic] – What is Starving to that Mrs Bull!” Both are very fat, and evidently prosperous.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: The corn bill, or, Iohn Bull and his hobby [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. Augt. 20th, 1804, by S.W. Fores, 50 Piccadilly, [20 August 1804]

Catalog Record

804.08.20.03+

Acquired November 2020