Collection online

Age and Folly, or the Beauties.

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Age and Folly, or the Beauties.
  • Description

    An aged and repulsively ugly couple walk under trees, both dressed in a grotesque exaggeration of the fashion of the day. The man (left) ogles the lady, whose pointed chin he holds, she smiles at him. He has a wig with an enormous looped-up macaroni club; a comb stuck into the top of his head shows that he is a barber, and, except that Frenchmen in caricature are seldom fat, the three-cornered hat with a tuft of feathers at each corner suggests that he is French. He wears a sword and a large nosegay. From his fob hangs a chatelaine or group of chains ending in a heart, the model of a small animal, a thimble, &c.
    The lady has a grotesque witch-like profile; her face is patched; she holds a fan, and wears a large earring, and a large nosegay. Her enormous pyramid of hair is decorated with ostrich feathers, ribbons, &c. In the feathers is a bird's nest with young birds gaping for food which is being brought them by a bird which flies towards them. She resembles the old woman in BMSat 5466 by the same artist.
    Behind on the right. two simply-dressed young women wearing hats hold up their hands in amazement at the grotesque couple.
    Beneath the title is engraved,

    "Search Court and City, Town and Country round,
    Two such Beauties scarce are to be found." 1 February 1776


  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1776
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 353 millimetres
    • Width: 251 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Lettered with title and two lines of verse, "Search Court and City, Town and Country round, / Two such Beauties scarce are to be found."; and with "London, Printed for R.Sayer & J.Bennett, No.53 Fleet Street; as the Act directs 1 Feb. 1776". Numbered bottom right 397.
  • Curator's comments

    (Description and comment from M.Dorothy George, 'Catalogue of Political and Personal Satires in the British Museum', V, 1935)
    For other satires on the monstrous hair-dressing of 1776-7 see BMSat 5370, &c.

    (Supplementary information)
    See also the reduced version, published by Sayer & Bennett 14 August 1777: 2010,7081.1607


  • Bibliography

    • BM Satires 5393 bibliographic details
    • Chaloner Smith 1883 undescribed bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Satires British 1776 Unmounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Still mounted on its original album leaf of c.1776.

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Satire: FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat).  1 February 1776  Mezzotint

Satire: FOR DESCRIPTION SEE GEORGE (BMSat). 1 February 1776 Mezzotint

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PPA147529

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help