The coronation of the Empress of the Nairs

description below

Lady Hertford reclines in an ornate bath, into which water gushes from the jaws of a monster which decorates the pedestal of a Venus. The bath is raised on a triple dais and backed by the pillars and canopy which frame the Venus forming the centre of the design. The Regent, in royal robes, ascends the steps of the dais, poised on his toes like a ballet-dancer, and places a crownlike marquis’s coronet on the head of Lady Hertford who leans towards him, her enormous breasts appearing over the edge of the bath. She says: “I proclaim the Freedom of the Sex & the Supremacy of Love.” Lord Hertford, who bestrides the pedestal, looks down delightedly from behind the statue of Venus. He has horns, and holds his Chamberlain’s staff. The water pours from the bath through the nostrils of a bull’s head with which it is ornamented, and falls in a triple cascade into a circular basin in the centre foreground. On each side of the statue of Venus and flanking the dais is a statue in a niche: ‘Aspasia’ (left) and ‘Messalina’ (right); both are disrobing. Near the fountain (right) a hideous hag, naked to the waist, crouches before a tall brazier in which she burns a ‘Mantle of Modesty’. The building appears to be circular, an arc of the wall forming a background on each side of the centre-piece. On this are tablets inscribed respectively ‘Hic Jacet Perdita’ [Mary Robinson, the Prince’s first mistress, see No. 5767, &c.]; ‘Hic Jacet Armstead’ [Mrs. Fox, who had been the Prince’s mistress, cf. No. 10589]; ‘Hic J[acet] Vauxhall Bess’ [Elizabeth Billington, see British Museum Satires No. 9970; her mother sang at Vauxhall, see British Museum Satires No. 6853]. In the foreground on the extreme right a buxom young woman puts her arms round the Duke of Cumberland, saying, “I’ll go to Cumberland”; he walks off with her, to the fury of an admiral just behind the lady who clutches his sword and is seemingly her husband. Cumberland wears hussar uniform with a shako and fur-bordered dolman, with a star and a large sabre. A meretricious-looking young woman (? Mrs. Carey) puts her arms round the Duke of York, saying, “And I to York.” The Duke, who wears uniform with a cocked hat and no sword, looks down quizzically at her. Behind him a tall thin officer in hussar uniform bends towards Princess Charlotte, taking her hand; he says: “Sure & I’ll go to Wales.” She runs eagerly towards him. As a pendant to these figures, Grenadiers stand at attention on the left, holding bayoneted muskets; they have huge noses, and smile at a buxom lady wearing spurred boots who addresses them with outstretched arm, saying, “And you for Buckinghamshire.” At her feet is an open book: ‘Slawkenberges Chapr on Noses’ [from Sterne’s Slawkenbergius, imaginary author of a Rabelaisian fantasy in ‘Tristram Shandy’]. They have a standard with the word ‘Buckin …’ on it. Behind the Prince (left) stands Tom Moore, looking up at the coronation; he holds an open book: ‘Little Poems / Ballad . . .’ He says: “I’ll give you one Little Song More [see British Museum Satires No. 12082].” Behind him stands Mrs. Jordan, placing a chamber-pot on the head of the Duke of Clarence, who wears admiral’s uniform with trousers.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878, printmaker.
  • Title: The coronation of the Empress of the Nairs [graphic] / G. Cruikshank sculpt.
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. September 1st, 1812, by W.N. Jones, No. 5 Newgate St., [1 September 1812]

Catalog Record

812.09.01.01++

Acquired September 2023

Mrs. Clarke’s patent extinguisher

description below

“Mrs. Clarke sits on Wardle’s right shoulder, to place over the head of the Duke of York a giant extinguisher which covers all but his legs and (military) coat-tails. At the apex of the extinguisher is a five-pointed star surrounded by the letters ‘T’ ‘R’ ‘U’ ‘T’ ‘H’. She says: “Beneath this Canopy’s oblivious shade Detected Y——hides his diminished head” On the cone are the inscriptions: ‘Multum in Papvo’ [sic] and: ‘Now Phoenix like, with renovated fire To noble deeds our Army shall aspire Whilst haughty Gaul shall emulate its praise And England round a Woman’s brow entwine the Bays.’ Wardle wears regimentals and sword and is tall and handsome; a letter ‘To Col Wardle’ projects from a pocket.”–British Museum online catalogue.

Catalog Record

809.03.00.09+

Acquired April 2023

Royal love letters

description below

Heading to a broadside printed in two columns. Prince Frederick, Duke of York and Albany, is dressed in an officer’s uniform and seated at a writing desk next to a window. He turns to gaze at a portrait on the wall of his mistress, Mary Anne Clark. Printed beneath the satirical illustration are a love poem and a quoted extract from a love letter, taken from the work ‘The Authentic and Impartial Life of Mrs. Mary Anne Clarke’ that was published after the Duke severed ties with her in 1809.

 

  • Title: Royal love letters [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Published by M.C. Springsguth, [approximately 1809]

Catalog Record

809.00.00.65+

Acquired November 2022

They have been weighed in the balance

description below

“Mrs. Clarke (left) stands on one of a pair of scales which is held down by Wardle and almost rests on the ground, while three lawyers in wigs and gowns (evidently Sir W. Grant, Gibbs, and Plomer) stand on the other (right) which General Clavering tries desperately to pull down. The beam is inscribed England expects every Man to do his Duty, and is supported on a mitre (see British Museum Satires No. 11227) worn by the Duke of York, who stands on William Adam’s back, which is inscribed Rock of Adam ant. Adam, who lies prone, puffs a blast inscribed Gratuisously [sic] against Mrs. Clarke. Under his hand is an Anonymous Letter. Wardle, in civilian dress, holds out towards the Duke a paper headed [Ch]arges. Perceval, in his Chancellor of the Exchequer’s gown, leans towards the right scale, holding out two papers: 199 Majority and 82 Majority, another, 241 Majority, lies on the scale. Where this scale is attached to the beam there is a purse labelled Light Crown Pieces. The Duke wears regimentals with gorget and star, and holds a paper: the Honor of a . . . [Prince]. He holds his drawn sword across Perceval, as if protecting him. Clavering sits on the ground, straining at the ropes. He sits on a paper inscribed [G]enl Claver[ing], and has a paper: Prevaricating Evidence [see British Museum Satires No. 11247]. Beside him is a fragment of paper inscribed Sic donec. Beside the principal performers, and between Mrs. Clarke and the Duke, stands John Bull, a short fat ‘cit’, holding a large weight inscribed Vox Populi –Sterling. He says: If I dont throw in my weight, our dearest sweetest Love will get the worst of it after all. (Her scale, however, rests on the ground with Wardle’s help only.) She turns to him, saying, O Mr Bull! Pray give a pull! At her feet are Letters [see British Museum Satires No. 11228, &c.].”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: They have been weighed in the balance, and are found wanting [graphic] / Flagelantes invt.
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. March 1809 by Walker, No. 7 Cornhill, [March 1809]

Catalog Record

809.03.00.07+

Acquired November 2022

The rival queans, or, A scene in The beggars opera

description below

“Mrs. Clarke (left) and Mrs. Carey (right) (see British Museum Satires No. 11050) berate each other; both wear evening dress, with feathers in their hair, those of Mrs. Carey being the taller. The Duke, wearing regimentals, watches the quarrel, equally distant from both. Mrs. Clarke, arms akimbo, says: “Why how now Madam Carey, although you are so Warey In saveing of your cash, John Bull and I we both will try, And settle all your hash.” [see 1803 Isaac Cruikshank print for an earlier use of this phrase, BM impression 1868,0808.7141/ PPA108823] Mrs. Carey retorts: “Why how now Madam Clarke—— Why since you thus can chatter—— And thus betray your spark—— I wonder whats the matter with, you, Madam Clarke!!” The Duke looks at Mrs. Clarke, stopping his ears, a leg raised in angry protest; he says: “Zounds! the thunder of Valencienes was Music to this”. Behind Mrs. Clarke is a cockatoo on a high perch, screaming: “go it! go it”; a chair has been overturned, and a mastiff, its collar inscribed ‘John Bull’, barks at the Duke. A small dog behind Mrs. Carey also barks. She stands with her back to the fire. On the chimney-piece a china Cupid aims his arrow at a heart on the trunk of a tree.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: The rival queans, or, A scene in The beggars opera [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. March 1809 by Walker, Cornhill, [March 1809]

Catalog Record

809.03.00.08+

Acquired November 2022

The game of see saw, or, Amusement for John Bull

description below“Mrs. Clarke (right) sits triumphantly astride the upper end of a see-saw which is supported on an upholstered stool. The Duke of York (left), dropping his sword, falls headlong from the other end which rests on the ground. She waves her arms, pointing a derisive finger at the Duke, and sings: “Here I go up up up and there you go Down Down Downy, The game it is pretty well up, and so you must fall to the Grouny!” The Duke sings: “What a way for to serve your own Sweety, how could you vex your own Deary, If you had not thrown me quite down, you’d have had your 4 hundred a Yeary.” On the ground are the Duke’s cocked hat (left) and (right) a mitre, with a book, ‘Ovid art of Love’, and crosier (see British Museum satires no. 11227), with writing materials and papers: a bundle of ‘Love Letters’ (see British Museum satires no. 11228, &c.) tied like legal documents, against which is a door-plate inscribed ‘for further particulars inquire within’, a bundle docketed ‘Account of Debts Gloucester’ [Place, see British Museum satires no. 11222, &c], a paper headed ‘To Col Wardle’. There is a landscape background irradiated by a setting sun.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Williams, Charles, active 1797-1830, printmaker.
  • Title: The game of see saw, or, Amusement for John Bull [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. March 1809 by Walker, No. 7 Cornhill, [March 1809]

Catalog Record 

809.03.00.04+

Acquired November 2019

The guard wot looks arter the sovereign

description below“Lady Conyngham stands directed to the left, feet apart, dressed as in British Museum satires no. 15720; she amusingly combines the ultra-feminine with masculine attributes and stance. She is immensely fat and wide with small cherubic features and curls; under her left arm is a cocked blunderbuss. She wears a wide-brimmed hat, a neckcloth fastened with a jewelled crown, a coach-guard’s greatcoat, wide open over her tight-waisted dress. A pouch hangs from her shoulder and two coach-horns from her left arm. Above her head: ‘I says to our Governor says I–keep your eye on them ere Leaders George’; i.e. on Lyndhurst and Scarlett, see British Museum satires nos. 15720, 15850. Cf. British Museum satires no. 15716.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: The guard wot looks arter the sovereign [graphic] / [man with an umbrella] Esq. del.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. April 28, 1829, by T. McLean, 26 Haymarket, [28 April 1829]

Catalog Record

829.04.28.01+

Acquired November 2019

Joseph and his mistress

Young man and old woman embracing

Satire: an ugly, elderly woman with an elaborate hairdo smiles as she reaches her hand to stroke the face of a handsome young man who holds his hat against his body.

  • Title: Joseph and his mistress [graphic].
  • Publication: [London] : Pubd. as the act directs May 9th, 1771, by MDarly, (39) Strand, [9 May 1771]

Catalog Record 

771.05.09.01

Acquired February 2019

A fishing party

A fishing party. detailed description below

“Pushed by Knighton and pulled by Lady Conyngham, George IV, more corpulent than in other prints, walks in an ornate circular stand or support on castors (as used for toddling children, cf. British Museum satires no. 7497) towards Virginia Water (right), his fishing-rod against his shoulder. He wears a hat with a wide curving brim inscribed á la Townsend [cf. British Museum satires no. 10293], double-breasted tail-coat, breeches, and pumps; his right arm rests on the ring of the stand, in his hand is a small book: Old Izack [Walton]. From the stand dangles an ornate reticule: Fish Bag; the base is decorated with two fat squatting mandarins. Lady Conyngham looks over her right shoulder at the King, puffing from her effort, but singing Rule Britannia; the crossbar at which she tugs is a sceptre. She wears an enormous ribbon-trimmed bonnet and décolletée dress; the hook from the King’s line has caught in her dress which strains across her vast posterior as she leans forward. Knighton wears a court-suit with bag-wig and sword. He pushes with both hands with great concentration, singing, Send him Victorious. In his coat-pocket are a clyster-pipe and a paper: Petition of the Unborn Babes. A signpost terminating in a realistic hand points To Virginia Water. There is a background of trees and water.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: A fishing party [graphic] : what great enjoyments rise ‘from trivial things'”.
  • Edition: [Later state with scroll added to Knighton’s coat-tails].
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. June 27th, 1827, by S.W. Fores, Pciadilly [sic], [27 June 1827]

Catalog Record 

827.06.27.01+

Acquired March 2019