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The honest pickpocket.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The honest pickpocket.
  • Description

    John Bull (left), a stout, plainly dressed man, his hair rising on his head, stands full-face, gaping terrified at Pitt, who removes his watch from his breeches pocket. Pitt bends forward in profile to the left, his right hand on John's shoulder, saying: "Don't be alarmed, Johnny, I only want to see whether it is Gold or Silver - you know there is a great deal of difference between Half a Crown and Ten Shillings." July 1797
    Hand-coloured etching


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1797
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 241 millimetres
    • Width: 253 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered: 'London Pubd by W. Holland, Oxford St July 1797'
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', VII, 1942)
    The tax on clocks and watches (37 George III, c. 108, 19 July 1797) came into force on 1 Aug. The tax was '10s.' on a gold watch, '2s. 6d.' on one of silver or metal, with certain exemptions for the poorest classes. It proved disastrous to the clock and watch-makers and was repealed in Apr. 1798. Dowell, 'Hist. of Taxation', iii. 271-3. See BMSats 9028, 9162.


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 9027 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1797 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat)   Hand-coloured etching

FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat) Hand-coloured etching

Image description



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Object reference number: PPA78820

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