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Lottery Insurance Office

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1862,1217.1

  • Title (object)

    • Lottery Insurance Office
  • Description

    A clerk (left) writes at a table on which leans a poorly dressed tailor holding a paper. Behind, and running across the room, is a long counter or table, behind which are clerks, one with a large open volume which he shows to a butcher who stands in back view, facing him. A man drinks from a punch-bowl. In the foreground (right) a ragged man and his wife with a little boy are leaving the office, the man pleased and confident, the woman distressed. A disappointed customer with his pocket inside out makes a gesture of despair. Beside him is a smiling Jew, holding out a handful of coins. On the wall are placards, one headed 'Brewmans list'. 1 March 1790
    Etching and engraving

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1790
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 185 millimetres
    • Width: 229 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered below image with title, production detail: "Drawn by Collings", "Etchd. by Barlow" and publication line: "Publishd as the Act directs, by Bentley & Co March 1st. 1790
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    From the 'Attic Miscellany', i. 206. Illustration to verses, 'The State Lottery'. The interior of a Lottery Office.
    A satire on the Lottery Offices, often fraudulent, which sold fractions of lottery tickets and insured numbers against proving blanks. See C. L. Ewen, 'Lotteries and Sweepstakes', 1932, pp. 252 ff., and cf. BMSat 8073.

    'In vain the Legislature cries "Beware!"
    While Itself hangs the glittering prize in air:
    Attic Misc., i. 208.'

    Removed from an album of lottery tickets, handbills, prints by Cruikshank etc. (298.c.6).

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  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 7750 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (British Masters Portfolio)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1862

  • Acquisition notes

    1862,1217.1 to 573 were all purchased at the John Ellis library sale at Sotheby's (Edward Daniell commissioned). The lots were nos.279, 340,345, 466, 573, 588, 590, 657, 658, 663, 665, 667, 669, 672, 673, 676, 677, 678, 824. The only copy of the catalogue is in the British Library.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1862,1217.1

A clerk (left) writes at a table on which leans a poorly dressed tailor holding a paper. Behind, and running across the room, is a long counter or table, behind which are clerks, one with a large open volume which he shows to a butcher who stands in back view, facing him. A man drinks from a punch-bowl. In the foreground (right) a ragged man and his wife with a little boy are leaving the office, the man pleased and confident, the woman distressed. A disappointed customer with his pocket inside out makes a gesture of despair. Beside him is a smiling Jew, holding out a handful of coins. On the wall are placards, one headed 'Brewmans list'.  1 March 1790  Etching and engraving

Recto

A clerk (left) writes at a table on which leans a poorly dressed tailor holding a paper. Behind, and running across the room, is a long counter or table, behind which are clerks, one with a large open volume which he shows to a butcher who stands in back view, facing him. A man drinks from a punch-bowl. In the foreground (right) a ragged man and his wife with a little boy are leaving the office, the man pleased and confident, the woman distressed. A disappointed customer with his pocket inside out makes a gesture of despair. Beside him is a smiling Jew, holding out a handful of coins. On the wall are placards, one headed 'Brewmans list'. 1 March 1790 Etching and engraving

Image description

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