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

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

Now that I have illustrated my three pints…

description below

“A fat bottle-nosed parson preaches from the upper story of a three-decker pulpit. Below him a lean curate sleeps, spectacles on forehead. A lank-haired rubicund clerk listens alertly. At the base of the design are the heads of a congregation, asleep, except for a flirting couple.”–British Museum online catalogue.

 

  • Printmaker: Heath, William, 1795-1840, printmaker.
  • Title: Now that I have illustrated my three pints, I shall proceed to draw some more ale!! [graphic] / J. ; W.H. fecit.
  • Publication: [London] : Pub. May 12, 1823, by G. Humphrey, 24 St. James’s St. & 74 New Bond St., [12 May 1823]

Catalog Record

823.05.12.06

Acquired November 2020

Gay’s Fables

description below

An engraved writing sheet illustrated with seven scenes from Gay’s Fables, each with rhyming couplet below. At head, and the largest scene, is ‘The Shepherd and the Philosopher’; six smaller scenes form the right and left borders below. A garlanded motif, designed to carry a hand-inserted date-line, is at the foot.

 

  • Title: Gay’s Fables [graphic].
  • Publication: London : Published by Robt. Sayer, map, chart & printseller, No. 53 Fleet Street, as the act directs, Novr. 17th, 1787.

Catalog Record

787.11.17.01++

Acquired May 2020

Carlo Khan dethron’d, or, Billy’s triumph

description belowOn the left, Charles Fox, dressed as an Oriental prince, lies on the ground having fallen off an elephant who has the face of Lord North; Fox’s dice and dice box are scattered on the pavement. In the speech bubble above his head: “Perdition, take thee for the chanse is thing.” To his right, William Pitt sits astride the elephant who stands at the entrance to the East India House, his face turned toward the viewer. Pitt offers in his left hand a “New India Bill” and holds three others under his arm and in his pocket: “Stamp […] act”, “Sup … lies”, and “Military Act …”. The building on the left has been extended to as far as Pitt’s back.

  • Title: Carlo Khan dethron’d, or, Billy’s triumph [graphic].
  • Edition: [State with elephant’s face turned towards viewer].
  • Publication: [London] : Publish’d as the act directs March 24th, 1784, by S. Fores, No. 3 Piccadilly, [24 March 1784]

Catalog Record

784.03.24.01.1

Acquired December 2019

A riding-house

description belowA view of the interior of a riding-school: A number of men riding round in a circle; those in the foreground ride from right to left, those in the background from left to right. The riding-master stands in the centre, pointing with hand and cane, and grinning at a short fat man in a clerical wig who is running across the room, alarmed at the horses. A short obese man in back-view on the extreme right, who is about to mount his horse has been identified as Captain Grose. Next him is a man with a grotesque impression of alarm riding a plunging horse. Among the riders are two with clerical wigs. One horse is galloping, out of control, the others are quietly ambling round. Two sides of a high rectangular room or hall are visible; in each wall are two high arch-topped windows.

  • Printmaker: Bretherton, James, approximately 1730-1806, printmaker.
  • Title: A riding-house [graphic] / Mr. Bunbury del. ; Js. Bretherton f.
  • Publication: [London] : Published by Js. Bretherton, 15 Feby. 1780.

Catalog Record

780.02.15.03++

Acquired November 2019

Corporeal stamina

description below“The bulky Lord Cholmondeley (1749-1827) stands in profile to the left. He wears a small round hat with long powdered hair tied back, and a whisker; a double-breasted coat over a double-breasted waistcoat, striped breeches, striped stockings, and wrinkled top-boots with heavy spurs. He holds a glove in his (gloved) left hand. In his right hand is a small cane. A double chin, heavy, paunchy figure, and wrinkled dress give an impression of physical slackness.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker.
  • Title: Corporeal stamina [graphic] / Js. Gillray del. & fect. ad vivam.
  • Publication: London : Publish’d April 13th, 1801, by H. Humphrey, No. 27 St. James’s Street, [13 April 1801]

Catalog Record

801.04.13.02 Impression 2

Acquired November 2019

A long story

description below“A number of men seated round a circular table over the wine manifesting sleepiness or exhaustion in different ways, while an officer in regimentals harangues them on some campaign. He sits over the table, in profile to the right, gesticulating with outstretched arms over a plan drawn on the table-cloth. Two overturned wine-glasses lie in front of him, two empty bottles stand on the table. On the farther side of the table a man stands up, stretching and yawning violently. His neighbour on his right also yawns; the man on his left supports his head on his hands, scowling at the speaker through half-closed eyes. Next him (right) a man in profile to the left holding a wine-glass yawns widely. Two others in profile to the right are asleep in attitudes of extreme weariness. A very fat man, sitting on the left. I turned away from the table, with outstretched legs in top-boots, yawns violently. From the right enters a servant with tousled hair, wearing a striped jersey; he is bringing in a boot-jack and pair of slippers, he too is yawning violently. In the foreground are two dogs.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Title: A long story [graphic] / H. Bunbury Esqr. invt.
  • Publication: [London] : [publisher not identified], [ca. 1802?]

Catalog Record 

802.04.25.02+

Acquired November 2019

Mental energy

description below“Lord Clare (1749-1802) walks in profile to the left on a pavement. He is erect and alert, inclining slightly forward, holding a slim cane erect. He wears round hat, short unpowdered wig, dark coat, gloves, and spurred top-boots.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Gillray, James, 1756-1815, printmaker.
  • Title: Mental energy [graphic] / Js. Gillray delt. & fect. ad vivam.
  • Publication: London : Publishd. April 13th, 1801, by H. Humphrey, No. 27 St. James’s Street, [13 April 1801]

Catalog Record

801.04.13.01 Impression 2

Acquired November 2019

The smoaking club

description below“Elderly men sit and stand, all smoking long pipes; large clouds of smoke issue from their mouths, but little or nothing comes from the bowls of their pipes. Most sit or stand silently morose; two standing men (left) appear to be puffing smoke in each other’s faces. One leans back, apparently asleep, but smoking. An ugly man seated on the extreme right takes the hand of a pretty young woman who stands opposite him; he holds a large key. She slips a note into the hand of a fierce-looking military officer who stands with his back to her. On the wall (right) is a placard: ‘At a general meeting of this Society, it was resolv’d by a Majority of Independent members, that any member may be Indulg’d with having the Key brought him, by his Servant or hand-maid, but on no pretence whatever be followd by that bane of good fellowship calld the White Sergeant.’ Above the door are framed Rules: ‘Ist No Gemman to be a member of this Society who cannot smoke three pipes at one sitting – NB no Spitting 2d No members pipe to be more than 14 Inches nor less than nine unless permitted so to do by the Landlady 3d Every member to find his own Stopper 4th Any member who puffs designedly in the face of another, to be find sixpence or be puff’d at in return by the whole company 5th All fines to be spent in Porter T. Twig Secy’ On the back wall is a large print of Sir Walter Raleigh seated smoking (right) while a servant raises a bucket to fling at the smoke.”–British Museum online catalogue.

  • Printmaker: Scott, Edmund, approximately 1746-1810, printmaker.
  • Title: The smoaking club [graphic] / I. Boyne delt. ; E. Scott sculpt.
  • Publication: London : Publish’d 10 Jany. 1792 by Bull & Jeffryes, Ludgate Hill], [10 January 1792]

Catalog Record

792.01.10.03++

Acquired March 2019