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Punch and the jugglers.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Punch and the jugglers.
  • Description

    Lord Shelburne holds open the door to two gentlemen who enter from the right, pointing out to them a puppet on a low platform (left) worked by strings held by North and Fox, whose heads and arms appear over a screen. The figure on the platform is the Duke of Portland, dressed as Punch, lifting his legs and arms stiffly as the strings are pulled. The two spectators appear to be the King and the Prince of Wales, tall and slim, in fashionable riding-dress, wearing a short waistcoat with two pendent bunches of seals, and tight riding-boots with long tops, cf. BMSat 6231. Behind him is the king, stout and shorter than his son. Both smile at the spectacle; Shelburne, wearing his Garter ribbon, says, "walk in Gemmen and see the shew, two secretaries of State in the Characters of Jugglers working a Prime Minister in the character of a Punch, the first Exhibition of the kind ever seen in this kingdom has had the honor of being performed before both Houses of Parliment with great Applause pray walk in Gemmen"
    Punch's face is quite expressionless. North (left) holds the strings attached to his right foot and left hand; Fox holds the other two strings. North, turning to Fox, says, "We are good men and true"; Fox says, looking at Punch, "Sing doodle doodle do...". Behind the platform on a flight of steps on the extreme left sit two demons, little nude imps with horns, long ears, one with bat's wings. One blows a pair of pipes with great vigour; the other, crouching above his head, points round the screen at Punch. A print is nailed to the wall over Shelburne's head: North, smiling and wearing his Garter ribbon, dances between a fox on its hind-legs and Punch. Over the door, in profile to the right, is a bust of George III. Beneath the title is engraved, "A Pantomical performance now exhibiting in the Cabinet at St Ja---ss". 20 May 1783 Etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1783
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 250 millimetres
    • Width: 352 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: "Pub by Mrs D Archery: May 20. 1783. St Jame's Street"
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
    One of several satires on Portland as the puppet of Fox, cf. BMSat 6226, 6256. In the manner of Colley, resembling BMSat 6228, perhaps by Gillray, of whom the imps are characteristic; see also BMSat 6117, 6237, 6252, &c.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 6233 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1783 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number




Image description



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Object reference number: PPA74509

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