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James Gillray : The Suppressed Plates

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Britain (printed)

  • Date:

    1797-9 (first published)
    ca. 1850 (printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Gillray, James, born 1757 - died 1815 (artist)
    Bohn, Henry George, born 1796 - died 1884 (publisher)
    Humphrey, Hannah (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engravings on wove paper

  • Credit Line:

    Gift from the Ministry of Justice

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Two plates from an album containing 45 numbered prints on wove paper, the majority printed two per page, recto only. Numbered 38 and 39 respectively, number 38 depicts Courtenay as the chairman of the tavern club, sitting at the head of a table, smoking. The other figures present are George Hanger,Charles James Fox, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and M. A. Taylor. They are all drinking champagne and brandy. Above Courtenay on the wall is a picture of a clothed monkey, smoking a pipe. Lettered with titles, captions, artist's initials, and the original publisher's name and address.

The second print on the same page is entitled 'Duke William's Ghost' and depicts the Prince of Wales, passed out in a drunken stupor, with broken bottles and wine spilt on the floor. An apparition of his great-uncle, William Augustus, the Duke of Cumberland, looms out of a cloud at the foot of the bed. Seen from behind, he is naked save for a cocked hat and sabre, with enormous buttocks making up the bulk of the body. He holds aloft an hour-glass, whose sands are about to run out, as a warning to the Prince about the risk of over-indulgence. Lettered with title, artist's name, and the original publisher's name and address.

Place of Origin

Britain (printed)


1797-9 (first published)
ca. 1850 (printed)


Gillray, James, born 1757 - died 1815 (artist)
Bohn, Henry George, born 1796 - died 1884 (publisher)
Humphrey, Hannah (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Engravings on wove paper

Marks and inscriptions

Pubd. Feb 4th 1797 by H Humphrey, New Bond Street
Lettered underneath plate 38

Pubd May 7th 1799 by H Humphrey, 27 St James's Street
Lettered underneath plate 39


Height: 63.5 cm, Width: 48.3 cm Sheet

Descriptive line

Two plates from an album of 40 'suppressed' caricatures featuring sexual, scatalogical and politically outrageous subject matter by James Gillray (1756-1815). Issued mid-19th century.


Wove paper



Subjects depicted

Pipes; Naked; Sleep; Politicians; Hour-glass; Glasses; Smoking; Meetings; Buttocks; Ghosts; Champagne; Time; Leaders


Prints; Satire; Caricatures & Cartoons


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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