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A Pair of Broad Bottoms

  • Object:

    Satirical print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1810 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Heath, William, born 1795 - died 1840 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    hand-coloured engraving

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case 92, shelf D, box 55

Physical description

Hand-coloured engraving. Caricature of Richard Brinsley Sheridan comparing the equally exaggerated buttocks of Sarah Baartman and Lord Grenville. Sarah Baartman is shown nude except for a beaded belt and headband and bands on her arms and legs, smoking a pipe and wearing a pair of shoes. Grenville says: "Well I never expected Broad Bottoms from Africa! but one should never dispair! Mind Sherry dont let your Fireey Nose touch the Venus for if theres any Conbustibls about her we shall be Blown Up!!!". Sheridan answers: "I shall be Carefull your Lordship! but such a Spanker it beats your Lordships hollow".

Place of Origin

London (published)


1810 (published)


Heath, William, born 1795 - died 1840 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

hand-coloured engraving


Height: 12.375 in, Width: 8.75 in

Object history note

Sarah Baartman (before 1790-d. 1815) (also known as Saartje Bartman(n) or Baartmen) was a Khoikhoi woman who was exhibited as a freak-show attraction in Europe in the early 1810s under the title the "Hottentot Venus".

NB: The term 'Hottentot' was used historically to describe people of African heritage, specifically the Khoi (or Khoekhoe) people, but, since the 1960s, has fallen from usage and increasingly is considered offensive. This term is repeated here in its original historical context.

Descriptive line

William Heath. 'A Pair of Broad Bottoms'. Caricature of Lord Grenville, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and Sarah Baartman. Published London, 1810.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1943, London: HMSO, 1956.
British Museum, Catalogue of Politicial and Personal Satires [c.1320-1832] London, 1870-1954.


Engraving; Hand-colouring


Satire; Prints; Caricatures & Cartoons; Black History


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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