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Print - H Beard Print Collection
  • H Beard Print Collection
    Calthrop, Claude, born 1845 - died 1893
  • Enlarge image

H Beard Print Collection

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (drawn)

  • Date:

    late 19th century (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Calthrop, Claude, born 1845 - died 1893 (drawn by)
    Hollidge, W (engraved by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraved print

  • Credit Line:

    Harry R. Beard Collection

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

In this print depicting a scene from Richard Brindsley Sheridan's School for Scandal, Charles Surface, desperate for money, is seen auctioning his family portraits; he is using the precious family tree, rolled up, as an auction hammer. The buyer, a Mr Premium, is actually his uncle in disguise, trying to see what sort of man his nephew is.

This engraving is based on an original painting by Claude Calthrop; the engraving was designed so that people could buy prints to display in their homes. Reproducing other forms of art by engraving was a common practice before the advent of photography.

Physical description

Engraving of an illustration of an 18th century drawing room. In the centre foreground, two men look at a oil painting on the wall; one man is slightly hunched, with black hair and beard, while the other stands supported by a cane, with white hair. Another man looks towards them while pointing with his left hand towards the painting. A further man stands on a chair, at the right of the engraving, also pointing towards the painting. In the background, two men sit round a dining table, with another standing at the corner. The title is printed at the bottom.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (drawn)


late 19th century (drawn)


Calthrop, Claude, born 1845 - died 1893 (drawn by)
Hollidge, W (engraved by)

Materials and Techniques

Engraved print

Marks and inscriptions


"School for Scandal"
handwritten in pencil


Height: 27.2 cm, Width: 37.7 cm

Descriptive line

Etching, 'Charles Surface selling his ancestors' portraits', from an illustrated periodical. Claude Calthrop after W. Hollidge, Harry Beard Collection

Labels and date

Print showing Charles Surface selling his ancestors’ portraits in The School for Scandal

This print illustrates the scene shown in the manuscript draft of the play displayed below. Sir Oliver Surface (on the left) is disguised as Mr Premium, a moneylender. His nephew Charles Surface (on the chair) is selling off the family portraits, having already disposed of the silver and the library.

Play by Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 1777

Drawn by Claude Calthrop (1845–93)
Engraved by W. Hollidge

Given by the British Theatre Museum Association
Museum no. S.33-2008 []


Paper; Ink


Engraving (printing process)


Entertainment & Leisure


Theatre and Performance Collection

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