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Montgolfier in the clouds/ Constructing of air balloons for the grand monarque

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Montgolfier in the clouds/ Constructing of air balloons for the grand monarque
  • Description

    Design in an oval. A whole length portrait of Montgolfier directed to the right, seated on and among clouds. In his right hand he holds a long clay pipe, from which soap-bubbles are ascending; he points with his left hand to the largest and highest of the bubbles. He says, the words etched across the clouds below his feet:

    "O by gar! dis be de grande invention - Dis will immortalize my King, my Country, and myself; We will declare de War against our ennemi; we will make des English quake, by gar: We will inspect their Camp, we will intercept their Fleet, and we will set fire to their Dock-yards: And by gar, we will take de Gibraltar in de air balloon, and when we have Conquered d'Eenglish, den we conquer d'other Countrie, and make them all colonie to de Grand Monarque." 2 March 1784 Etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1784
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 349 millimetres
    • Width: 247 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: 'Fourth Sketch Published as the act directs March 2 1784 by S. Fores N° 3 Piccadilly - a Companion to this in a few days'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VI, 1938)
    The (unsuccessful) launching of a 'grand aerostatic machine' on 19 Jan. at Lyons, in which Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier and others ascended, caused great excitement. 'London Magazine', 1784, pp. 147, 203. Cf. BMSat 6333, 6709, 6710, also satires on the military use of balloons.
    Reproduced, Grand-Carteret et Belteil, 'La Conquête de Voir', 1910, p. 99.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 6435 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1784 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number




Image description



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Object reference number: PPA74964

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