“John Bull, grossly obese, sits in an armchair directed to the right, smoking and holding a goblet inscribed ‘For the Belly’ in his left hand. His paunch overweights his legs; from below it projects a bunch of four big seals, shaped like mitres, two inscribed ‘Dublin’ and ‘Armagh’. These dangle against his left leg which is bare except for a tattered green cloth and rests on straw. On the other leg, which has gouty misshapen toes, are a neat stocking and shoe. From the left foot rise the words: ‘Arrah, now Mr Belly don’t be after thinking I’m satisfied–if all the rest are, Och! bother your talk, about dispersing the good things you receive sure none of them come towards me lower than your watch chain: have’nt I been neglected, Och, its withering I am–& tho’ some of your bowels yearn over me & say I might be cured, don’t part of your hard heart wish me Cut down to the bare bone–but Oh, honey if you get into a row, won’t you do better with two stout legs than only one of them–.’ John stares down towards the bare toe, which is only just in his range of vision; his words are in the cloud of smoke issuing from his pipe: ‘Never mind my poor little limb,–as to the belly Clothed in scarlet & fine lawn I smoke its selfishness, & as its head & Governor will see you righted.'”–British Museum online catalogue.
A series of unconnected caricature vignettes. The centre of the print is dominated by a large set of scales – a well-established symbol within the English satirical canon – which are weighted heavily towards the side containing 659 “£10 voters”, as opposed to the 36 well-dressed gentlemen of the “close packed corporation”. Beneath the scales a tubby gent in a bicorn hat tries to correct this imbalance by helplessly tugging at a rope. The multiple punning references to oaks are reinforced by the image of a dying tree stump, which Grant had given a human face, that looks miserably on from the background whilst a vulture, or some other bird of prey, circles above it menacingly. In the bottom left-hand corner two men, an undertaker and a man carrying the trappings of a pharmacist, stand in conversation. The apothecary, with a face that appears to be hideously scarred by smallpox; above stands a huge wheel of cheese, out of which crawls a figure. The rest of the print is covered by a motley collection of characters including ‘Teddy the Mower’ – a hobo who carries an official mace that’s been turned into a scythe, ‘Turn Again Dick’ – A two-faced politician who advocates reform but also brandishes an article written for the Tory press, ‘A German Duck’ – A grotesquely overweight and featureless figure that has a dead bird hanging out of his coat pocket and the unnamed figure of an auctioneer. The print refers to the campaign for the 1835 general election campaign that began in Bury St Edmunds. The multiple references to ‘oaks’ relate to a prominent local banker by the name of James Henry Oakes, a staunch Tory supporter, who used his considerable wealth to pack the town Corporation with placemen who would deliver the policies he wanted. It is possible that the portly figure who is attempting to pull the scales back in favour of the “Close Pack’d Corporation” may be James Henry Oakes himself, although the character bears no resemblance to the 1839 portrait of Oakes held by the National Gallery.
Printmaker: Grant, C. J. (Charles Jameson), active 1830-1852, printmaker.
Title: 659 to 36!! [graphic] : great odds for the oak stake / CJG., London, Jany. 4th 1835.
Published: [Bury St. Edmunds : Published by the Society for the Suppression of Conservative Vice, & sold by all Lovers of Reform of Abuses & to be had of E. Birchenall [i.e. Birchinall], Churchgate St., Bury, ca. 4 January 1835]
“George III, half length, stands in profile to the left, holding a tiny Napoleon on the palm of his right hand, and inspecting him through a spy-glass. He says: “My little friend Grildrig, you have made a most admirable \ “panegyric upon Yourself and Country, but from what I can \ “gather from your own relation & the answers I have with \ “much pains wringed & extorted from you, I cannot but con- \ “-clude you to be one of the most pernicious, little – odious \ “-reptiles, that nature ever suffer’d to crawl upon the surface of the Earth.” He wears military uniform with a bag-wig. The only background is a dark cloud-like shadow across the lower part of the design.”–British Museum online catalogue.
A portrait of Loum Kiqua shown standing whole-length holding a long pipe in left hand and wearing Chinese dress and hat with a purse hanging from his waist. He stands in a room with a chequered floor and to the right a balcony overlooking ships on the water and the walls of a city complex.
Printmaker: Burford, Thomas, approximately 1710-approximately 1779, printmaker.
Title: Loum Kiqua [graphic] / D. Serres ad vivum pinxt. ; T. Burford fecit.
Published: London : [Publisher not identified], publish’d according to act of Parliament, April 1757.
King Henry VIII leads Anne Boleyn towards the throne. A melancholy Cardinal Wolsey leans his head in his hand as he glances sideways toward the couple. In the background Katherine of Aragon sitting in another throne and turns away from the couple to converse with Anne’s former lover, Lord Percy. A young page carries the train of Anne’s dress as she enters the palace.
Fox (right), hat in hand, bows humbly before Bonaparte (left), who stands arrogantly, arms akimbo, head in profile to the right. The First Consul wears military uniform, boots, an enormous sword; on his head is a mural crown decorated with a cannon and skull and cross-bones, and bristling with sabres, pistols and daggers. Both men are shown full-length and in profile.