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State of the Giraffe

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    ca. 1829 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    McLean, Thomas, born 1788 - died 1875 (publishers)
    Heath, William, born 1795 - died 1840 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    etching and watercolour

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Dr W. L. Hildburgh

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case GG, shelf 73

Physical description

Caricature of a sickly-looking giraffe, wearing stockings and shoes on its forelegs, being raised in a windlass by King George IV and his mistress Lady Conyngham. George's jacket lies discarded on the floor, and there is a box of medicines on the right-hand side of the image.

Place of Origin

London (published)


ca. 1829 (published)


McLean, Thomas, born 1788 - died 1875 (publishers)
Heath, William, born 1795 - died 1840 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

etching and watercolour

Marks and inscriptions

Pub by T McLean 26 Haymarket where political and other caricature are daily Pub

Little hope is now entertaind of the recovery of the Giraffe - since the last attack he is unable to rise without the assistance of slings - every attention is paid him but tis' feard without effect / Morning papers

I supose [sic] we shall have to pay for stuffing him next
caption in left border of print, above a symbol of Paul Pry in the bottom left corner


Height: 10.875 in, Width: 15 in

Descriptive line

Caricature, 'State of the Giraffe', hand-coloured etching by William Heath, published by Thomas McLean, London, ca. 1829

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

Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1923, London: Board of Education, 1925.




Etching; Hand-colouring

Subjects depicted

Medicine; Windlass; Giraffes; Winches


Prints; Caricatures & Cartoons; Royalty; Animals and Wildlife


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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