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Every Man on His Perch or Going to Hobby Fair

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London, England (made)

  • Date:

    1819 (etched)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Cruikshank, Isaac Robert, born 1789 - died 1856 (etcher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching coloured by hand

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Frank A. Gibson

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 173

The velocipede was the forerunner of the modern bicycle. A version of it was patented in London in 1818 and they became all the rage in early 1819. Instead of pedalling, the rider propelled himself along with light touches of the feet on the ground. It was claimed that speeds of up to ten miles an hour could be reached on them.

Each rider represents a different nationality, profession, type or character from literature. Some of the velocipedes have been customised according to their rider: the farmer rides a plough, the fishmonger a fish, and the Scotsman has a bowl of steaming porridge on the back and a thistle on the front.

Place of Origin

London, England (made)


1819 (etched)


Cruikshank, Isaac Robert, born 1789 - died 1856 (etcher)

Materials and Techniques

Etching coloured by hand


Height: 28.3 cm plate, Width: 41.4 cm plate

Exhibition History

Work, Rest and Play: Caricatures from the Gibson Bequest (01/01/1993-31/12/1993)


Watercolour; Printing ink; Paper (fiber product)


Hand-colouring; Etching (printing process)

Subjects depicted

Soldiers; Hunting; Quixote, Don; Candles; Farmers; Teachers; Sailor; Falstaff, John (Sir); Bakers; Boxers; Cossacks; Kilts; Cravats; Violinists; Velocipede; Undertakers


Prints; Caricatures & Cartoons

Collection code


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